Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina took to Twitter on Saturday to show off an apparent name change of a street formerly known as Voortrekker in Ekurhuleni (presumably the one in Kempton Park), which was now “Mzwandile Way”.
He called on his “haters” to comment on the renaming of “apartheid streets”.
One of them immediately did, saying: “You don’t rename the streets to your own name while in office. Your deeds determine whether you deserve such an honour. They don’t do it like that.”
Masina initially responded with both crying and laughing emojis and the comment: “Get a life web [sic], my name was nominated be the people I serve.” He then deleted that reply and replaced it with: “Get a life wena, people I lead have spoken.”
Ekurhuleni DA councillor Tiaan Kotze Kotzé later got in touch and explained that it was likely the mayor was merely trying to get attention and that the street in question was actually in Umlazi, KZN, where an intersection of Mzwandile Way and Zwide Grove can be found.
Last year it was announced that the City of Ekurhuleni had resolved to rename as many as 42 roads and eight significant landmarks to “help promote social cohesion”.
Former president Thabo Mbeki was to get the Van Buuren off-ramp named after him, while Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s name would replace Olifantsfontein Road.
Masina said the changes would “redress the legacy of apartheid”, and better reflect the values of the city’s inhabitants.
Among the many changes, it was proposed that the Gillooly’s Interchange be renamed in honour of anti-apartheid human rights lawyer George Bizos, Snake Road should become Mary Moodley and Tom Jones Road on the N12 should be renamed after anti-apartheid and women’s rights activist Amina Cachalia.
The mayor received a mix of support and condemnation for his “honour”.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)