The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have once again strive to remove all so-called colonial symbols from the Free State’s province. The party will table a motion containing allegations that blacks have no images of heroes in the Free State and that only white heroes are represented in the Free State, during the upcoming legislative session on October 22, 2019.
The EFF demands that historical symbols, as seen in the Fourth Council Chamber, as well as the statue of Gen. Christiaan de Wet, to be removed. In its motion, the EFF argues that the removal of these symbols will contribute to the eradication of colonialism.
Jan van Niekerk, provincial leader of the FF plus in the Free State believes that this attack on Afrikaner history contradicts nation-building and promotes racial polarization. He argues that the history of all racial groups must be respected. He adds that Gen. de Wet, however, fought against colonialism and had no involvement in the apartheid era. The FF Plus is in favor of an inclusive heritage site where one group’s history is not removed, but where it is added instead. The past cannot be rewritten or changed and there should rather be respect for the history of all groups and learn from the past. Van Niekerk said his party would strongly oppose the motion. “The FF Plus is fighting for a better dispensation where lessons are learned from the past and focused on a better future.”
While people in the Free State are starving and suffering from extremely poor service delivery, the EFF prioritizes symbols. This is significant of the EFF’s short-term populism. The EFF has not yet learned that a country is not lifted by trying to break down sections of society. As long as this is the EFF’s premise, poverty and inequality will continue to exist in South Africa.