Makhanda (Grahamstown) name change battle goes to court

08:54 (GMT+2) Mon, 08 Jul 2019

The re-naming of Grahamstown to Makhanda will be challenged in the High Court as opponents claim the process was procedurally invalid and based on incorrect historical information.

That’s the latest from the Keep Grahamstown Grahamstown campaign’s Sigidla Ndumo, a joint co-ordinator of KGG along with lawyer, Jock McConnachie.

In a statement on Monday, the organisation said that a record of the handling of the matter by Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthetwa, showed that he had only considered a “small number” of the many objections that were submitted to him, including that of KGG on behalf of 10 000 objectors.

Ndumo said it was also clear from his answering affidavit that his decision was based on incorrect historical information about Colonel Graham. 

“He claims that Graham “exterminated all the inhabitants of the area of the Zuurveld” which is a gross exaggeration”.

“He also claimed in his Freedom Day address earlier this year that Graham led the British forces against Makhanda in the Battle of Grahamstown in 1819 whereas Graham was only in the area for about three months in 1812,” Ndumo said.

The renaming of South Africa’s second oldest city was also invalid because the Notice published by the Minister announcing the name change was defective, he said.