Mthethwa’s politically brilliant curtain call on PE deserves an ...

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Mthethwa’s politically brilliant curtain call on PE deserves an ovation

The minister has had a rough time, so go easy on him. It’s not as if he’s trying to win votes before the election

Columnist

Nathi Mthethwa might be doing his best to destroy the arts in SA, but this critic has to give him five stars for his latest piece of political theatre: the renaming of various places in the Eastern Cape.

To be clear, I entirely support the principle involved when a formerly colonised people decide to erase colonial names and replace them with pre-colonial or, simply, different ones.

I also don’t subscribe to the “history” argument, which insists one shouldn’t try to erase or deny history by replacing names, as if history isn’t one long catalogue of names that have been changed, often by violence and conquest. If people on the receiving end of that violence want to erase some of its scars, peacefully and legally, why should anyone object?..

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