Malema, EFF step up quest for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela airport

South Africans flocked to Orlando Stadium on March 14, 2018, to pay their last respects to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. PHOTO: Yeshiel Panchia.

Julius Malema and the EFF have stepped up their campaign to get The Cape Town International Airport renamed after late struggle stalwart Winnie Madizela-Mandela.

On Tuesday, it was revealed by the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) that a public participation meeting will be held next week as part of the plans to rename the airport.

Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande has confirmed that proposals have been received to rename the airport after the four struggle icons, Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela or Robert Sobukwe.

In an official notice, the Acsa said a public participation meeting would be held at the airport on Monday, June 4, at 6pm.

“Acsa Cape Town International will be undergoing a name change as part of the Transformation of Heritage Landscape government program,” the notice read.

The announcement was followed by tweets from both Julius Malema’s official Twitter account and his party’s, urging their supporters to submit proposals and comments in support of their bid to rename the airport after Madikizela-Mandela.

The late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The tweet has garnered quite a reaction, with many of their followers tweeting they had “played their part” by sending in proposals.

Malema first mentioned the idea at the late struggle icon’s memorial service.

The idea has struck a chord among many people on social media, who feel it would be a suitable honour for the woman dubbed “the mother of the nation”. The symbolic value of naming the airport after a woman has also been mentioned.

Others have dismissed the idea as a waste of money and resources, although whether or not those who hold this view know the airport is already destined to be renamed is unclear. There are also some who see Madikizela-Mandela as a controversial figure and oppose the rename for that reason.

The EFF commander-in-chief and Madikizela-Mandela’s relationship was one of mutual support and respect. She was both a symbolic and real-life mother figure to him both before and after his exit from the ANC.

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