The City of Cape Town’s Naming and Nomination Committee has recommended to Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille that the City undertakes a public participation process about the proposal to rename De Waal Drive after the late Philip Kgosana – a struggle leader and former regional secretary of the Pan African Congress (PAC) in the Western Cape. Read more below:
The proposal from Tony Heard, a former editor of the Cape Times, to rename De Waal Drive after Philip Kgosana was considered by the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee this morning, 10 May 2017. The committee subsequently recommended to Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille that the City undertakes a public participation process for comments from interested and affected parties.
Philip Kgosana led a PAC march of approximately 30 000 protestors from Langa and Nyanga along De Waal Drive on 30 March 1960. Heard accompanied Kgosana on the day of the peaceful march to the apartheid Parliament, following the Sharpeville massacre.
‘Mr Kgosana was only 23 years old at the time, marching at the front, leading the protestors against the pass laws along De Waal Drive and Roeland Street. The protestors demanded a meeting with the then Minister of Justice FC Erasmus. A state of emergency had been declared, however, and Kgosana and other leaders were persuaded to accompany police chiefs to the police station down the road to meet Erasmus on condition that the crowd disperse. Kgosana asked the protesters to go home. The meeting with Erasmus never happened, and Kgosana was arrested and held in solitary confinement for 21 days in Roeland Street jail. He had been charged with incitement to public violence, breaking the pass laws and marching to Cape Town without the apartheid government’s permission,’ said the Chairperson of the City’s Naming and Nomination Committee, Councillor Brett Herron.
Kgosana was eventually granted bail after nine months in jail.
‘He never found out who paid the bail money. He went into exile after his release, and studied in Ethiopia and Uganda. Mr Kgosana worked for the United Nations for 22 years and only returned to South Africa after spending 36 years abroad. After his retirement he settled at Winterveld, near Pretoria, where he farmed with mushrooms and citrus.
‘It is only befitting that we consider renaming De Waal Drive after this remarkable man who faced the apartheid forces at such a young age and contributed in changing the lives of people the world over as an employee of the United Nations,’ said Councillor Herron.
Kgosana passed away on 19 April 2017.
‘Mr Kgosana was aware of the proposal to rename De Waal Drive to commemorate the role he played in freeing South Africans from the apartheid regime. His son, Mohlabani, said Philip was ‘deeply honoured’ by the gesture and that they also support the proposal,’ said Councillor Herron.
Once the recommendation has been approved by the Mayor, the City’s Public Participation Unit will facilitate comment from Cape Town’s residents and interested and affected parties about the proposed renaming.