Talking to JJ Tabane on Power FM, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu addressed the issue of name changes in South Africa, saying he believed ‘South Africa’ had colonial connotations and should be changed to Azania.
“The name South Africa was an attempt to give direction to the colonial output. We must decide as a country to democratically change the name of the country to Azania,” he said.
Shivambu’s view seems to be in line with that of PAC general secretary Narius Moloto, who called for SA to be renamed Azania in June 2017.
“Azania is the original name of the Southern tip of Africa, and the research by Professor Es’kiah Mphahlele clearly reveals that the real name of South Africa is actually Azania,” he told Talk Radio 702 at the time.
According to Moloto: “The name Azania is derived from the term Azanj, which is Arabic.”
“It has its own historic referral rather than geographical. This country did not have a real name, rather a geographical name,” he continued.
Shivambu said the EFF also wanted to rename anything in South Africa that was still named after apartheid leaders.
“The names of so many things in SA after racist apartheid leaders is one that definitely should be addressed, and we are working on that,” he said.
The EFF’s commitment to getting the Cape Town International Airport renamed after late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was also mentioned.
“The issue of the CT International Aiport being renamed to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is an ongoing issue. We will also table a motion in parliament that it be renamed to Mama Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela,” he said.
In the interview, Shivambu also addressed the EFF’s stance on Indian South Africans.
At the EFF’s Youth Day celebrations in Klerksdorp, North West, in June, Malema took to the podium to tell a large crowd: “[The] majority of Indians hate Africans, [the] majority of Indians are racist, and we must never be scared to say that they are racist.”
Shivambu himself has been accused of racism towards Indian South Africans over the remarks he made about National Treasury deputy director-general Ishmail Momoniat in June.
He told Power FM the EFF saw it as their duty to call out all forms of racism, adding he felt “some Indians undermine the leadership of African people”.
“If you go read the EFF Manifesto, we deal with who is supposed to benefit. We made an observation that the Indian working class was oppressed in the same way Africans were. White people treated Indians better and that created the racism by Indians,” he continued.