A South African shop in New Zealand has come in for significant criticism after proudly emblazoning the old apartheid flag on its display windows.
The Biltong and Wors Store in Tawa, New Zealand, sells South African delicacies in the small suburb of Tawu, which is just outside of Wellington. Locals noticed the brazen decoration over the weekend, and many were quick to lambast the business’ decision to represent Mzansi in this “racist” manner.
Apartheid flag on display in New Zealand
Steve Scheckter is another South African store owner in nearby Petone. He told stuff.nz that the owner should know better, and called out the ignorance of the display:
“This is a very stupid thing to do. I wouldn’t display it anywhere, not in my shop and not in my home. Especially in New Zealand, when the 1981 Springboks tour basically tore the social fabric of this country apart.”
Can you be punished for displaying the apartheid flag?
The owner of Biltong and Wors didn’t seem too apologetic either, telling the publication he was aware of the controversy but had nothing to say about it. This comes at a very sensitive moment for South Africa, as the government look to criminalise the use of the emblem going forward.
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The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) filed an application to the Equality Court earlier in the year, wanting any displays of the apartheid flag to be classified as hate speech. The ANC have come out in support of this viewpoint, issuing an affidavit which says the oranje-blanje-blou is tantamount to endorsing the swastika symbol.
AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel has previously argued that South Africans should be allowed for home use only. However, NMF explained back in February why they feel a complete ban is necessary:
“The decision to launch this application comes after years of watching public displays of the old flag and hoping that such behaviour would stop. These displays demonstrably compound the pain experienced by millions of black South Africans who suffered under apartheid and continue to struggle under its legacy.”
Nelson Mandela Foundation
This latest incident isn’t the first time we’ve seen the apartheid flag in Wellington this year, though. Some rugby fans thought it would be a good idea to bring one to the Test between New Zealand and South Africa in September. No action was taken against the spectators.
This news release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SA-news.
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