Winnie Madikizela Mandela pictured in 2013.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela pictured in 2013.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

  • In September, the City announced a proposed change of William Nicol Drive, in Bryanston, to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive. 
  • The City has called for public input on the proposed change. 
  • Nicol was a Dutch Reformed minister, member of the National Party and of the Broederbond, a Afrikaner nationalist group that existed during apartheid. 

City of Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo has encouraged the public to participate in the debate over the proposed renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Drive.

In a statement on Thursday, Makhubo asked the public and all stakeholders to share their comments and representation on the matter. 

Nicol was a Dutch Reformed minister, member of the National Party and of the Broederbond, an Afrikaner nationalist group that existed during apartheid. He was also the co-author of Regverdige Rasse-Apartheid (Just Racial Apartheid).

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“Names carry history. They say something about those whose contributions are deemed worthy of a public and multigenerational memory. These are by their very nature contentious and that is why they must always be treated with the sensitivity they deserve.” said Makhubo.

Makhubo said that initial responses were encouraging and positive.

“This renaming of one of the City’s iconic landmarks is a result of the council’s commitment to social transformation and cohesion. It symbolises the immeasurable commitment of Mama Winnie to the struggle for humanity and liberation of our country,” he said.

Members of the public who wish to add their inputs can do so in writing to the Arts and Culture Heritage Office, 2 Helen Joseph Street, Joburg Newtown Building.

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