The civil rights organisation AfriForum has with great concern taken note of the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa’s, apparent plans to change the name of the Afrikaans Language Monument and Museum by removing “Afrikaans” from its name and to give the institution a, so called, more inclusive nature.
According to Alana Bailey, AfriForum’s Head of Cultural Affairs, changing the name and focus of this institution will only further polarise communities in the country. “Afrikaners and Afrikaans speakers have the right, like any other community in the world, to use their language and to heritage landmarks that commemorate their contribution to the history of the country. This is a right that is also recognized in the preamble to the South African Constitution,” says Bailey.
The Afrikaans Language Monument and Museum is, according to Bailey, one of the most inclusive institutions in the country and has been building bridges between all communities for decades.
Considering the concerns about the future of the monument and museum as well as the polarisation that the minister’s planned actions can create, AfriForum has requested an urgent meeting with him. A poll was also launched among the approximately 301 700 members of AfriForum and the public in general to convey their position in this regard to Minister Mthethwa and the management of the institution.