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Verwoerd name change slammed

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By SAPA

Johannesburg - Renaming a school in Meyerton that carried the name of apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd drew criticism from the Freedom Front Plus on Friday.

It said the move initiated by Midvaal Democratic Alliance mayor Timothy Nast was all about political correctness.

Jaco Mulder, FF Plus leader in the Gauteng legislature, said the mayor forced parents and the school governing body on short notice to agree to his “one-sided party-political message” of re-naming the school.

The DA's action was a bid to strengthen their support among black voters, said Mulder.

“The fact that Dr Verwoerd won the parliamentary election in 1958 as MP for Heidelberg with Meyerton as part of the ward... and that the first public event that Verwoerd attended as prime minister had been in Meyerton and was attended by approximately 80 000 people, are being disregarded by the actions of the DA.”

Nast said Mulder had a personal political agenda.

“I am not in a position to force parents and the school governing body to change the name of a school. I was asked for an opinion on the matter by the school.”

According to Nast, about 88 percent of the parents voted to have Dr Verwoerd Primary School's name changed, and he only agreed with them on the issue.

“At least 480 families were represented at the meeting. I support their decision because it takes into account the future of the children and that of the school.” - Sapa

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