News / South Africa

Sanele Gumada
2 minute read
18 Apr 2018
6:05 am

No Winnie Madikizela-Mandela airport yet – Blade

Sanele Gumada

The PAC has been canvassing for the airport to be named after Robert Sobukwe, a former Robben Island prisoner and freedom fighter.

Cape Town International Airport. FILE PHOTO

No decision has yet been taken on renaming the Cape Town International Airport but, for now, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela could possibly be honoured by having the hub carry either of their names.

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande said the renaming process was still under way and a final decision had not been made.

This follows allegations that a decision was reached to name the airport after Mandela.

Nzimande’s spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said their department and the department of arts and culture were still in the consultation process.

Mnisi said potential new names, as canvassed through the media, were Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Robert Sobukwe.

“Our ultimate preoccupation is to ensure that we name the airport after one of our heroes or heroines, who contributed immensely to the attainment of a democratic South Africa, one that is united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous,” said Nzimande.

During his speech at Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral on Saturday, EFF leader Julius Malema suggested that the airport be named after Madikizela-Mandela – to celebrate her life and to honour her contribution to the struggle against apartheid.

Malema’s suggestion received support on several social media channels.

The Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) has been canvassing for the airport to be named after Sobukwe, a former Robben Island prisoner, freedom fighter and their founding president.

The PAC urged the public to support this suggestion because it would honour Sobukwe’s contribution to the party and his struggle to fight the apartheid regime.

“It is only fair that they honour Sobukwe in the right way and not vilify and victimise him for his political or ideological allegiance,” said PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatle.

“He has accomplished his mission and therefore needs acknowledgement.”

Nzimande said the government was working tirelessly to speed up the consultation process. He said they are aiming to conclude the renaming within the next few months.

Also read: Malema’s idea of Winnie Mandela Airport in Cape Town catches fire

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