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Tue Nov 24 23:59:47 CAT 2015

Removal of flag causes a flutter

NASHIRA DAVIDS | 27 November, 2012 00:08
South African flag will no longer flap at the Castle of Good Hope. File photo

To hoist or not to hoist?

Parliament has decided on the latter and so the old South African flag will no longer flap at the Castle of Good Hope.

But the move has been described as "childish" by the Freedom Front Plus.

Yesterday Mokabhe Maziya, a member of parliament's portfolio committee on defence and military veterans, confirmed that no public input was needed to make the change and said using the old flag, especially at a state building, was "not in the spirit of the new dispensation".

Committee member Nomfunelo Mabedla was the first to raise concerns about the old flag at the castle and it was agreed that it should go.

"It doesn't require public comment to remove the old South African flag. It is normal practice that the old South African flag should be removed and that the flag that should be on display is the new South African flag - the flag that has been adopted by everyone," said Maziya.

"There is no debate needed and there is ... no public participation [on] whether the flag should be displayed."

On the lack of public input, FFP leader Pieter Mulder said: "That is a huge mistake. By saying that [Maziya] would be making exactly the same mistakes previous governments did in not involving the public in making decisions.

"This type of behaviour could lead to unrest. This way of thinking leads to instability."

Last week the Freedom Front Plus wrote to the committee asking its members to reconsider their decision. They are yet to receive a response. Now, said Mulder, the party would "have to take further steps".

Mulder's colleague, Pieter Groenewald, on Wednesday said flags from all the previous regimes formed part of an exhibition at the castle. But the other flags, including the Union Jack, had also been taken down.

The castle, the oldest colonial building in the country, was built between 1666 and 1679 as a maritime replenishment station. Today it is Cape Town's military seat.


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