ANC and EFF at loggerheads over credit for renaming William Nicol Drive
Which political party deserves the credit for the renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive?
Late ANC struggle icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela. Picture: Twitter
Political party squabbles between the ANC and EFF continue to play out in the public. This time, over which party deserves the credit for the renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive.
Johannesburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda officially renamed William Nicol Drive to the late ANC stalwart on Tuesday.
The ANC said it put forth a motion in the Johannesburg City Council to rename William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive in 2018 as part of the party’s effort to encourage social cohesion.
A tangible connection
“The ANC’s position to rename key streets and buildings in South Africa to honour icons who played pivotal roles in shaping the country’s history reflects a broader effort to unite society behind tried and tested icons who tirelessly contributed to the nation’s struggle for freedom and democracy,” the party said.
“By renaming streets and buildings after these icons, the ANC aims to ensure their legacies are preserved and that future generations are reminded of the sacrifices and achievements of those who fought against apartheid and other injustices. This preservation of our history serves as a powerful symbol of South Africa’s commitment to acknowledging its oppressive history and valuing the diverse voices and leaders that shaped it.”
Watch: Unveiling of Winnie Mandela Drive
The ANC said by placing the name of Mandela highly on a pedestal, it seeks to create a “tangible connection between South Africa’s past and its present, fostering a sense of pride and continuity among its citizens”.
Red berets fought for this
The EFF claimed it was the red berets who fought for the renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive through a motion that was approved by the City of Johannesburg Council.
“Mama, in honor of your resilience and courage against the oppressive apartheid regime, the EFF has successfully fought for the renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive, through a motion that was approved by the City of Johannesburg Council. The unveiling of the renamed drive will occur today,” said the EFF.
“The EFF has consistently held Mama Winnie’s memory in the highest regard, as today also marks the second anniversary of the official opening of our headquarters, the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House — the nerve centre of the revolution in pursuit of economic freedom.”
In 2021, the EFF renamed its headquarters in Johannesburg CDB to the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House.
“Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House has been the nerve centre of the revolution for economic freedom and will remain the home of the destitute and the poor.”
Previously, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu accused the ANC of celebrating EFF’s “achievements and courageous victories”.
“You guys are celebrating EFF’s achievements and courageous victories. Fact is: William Nicol Drive was renamed to Winnie Mandela Drive due to the EFF’s motion in the City of Johannesburg. What’s pathetic though is the ANC insulted Mama Nomzamo when we proposed a motion to rename CTIA after her. South Africa will liberate itself from hypocrites and opportunists next year.”