Hoërskool Hendrik Verwoerd gets a new name

21 May 2019 - 08:28
By Iavan Pijoos
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has formally approved the renaming of Hoërskool Hendrik Verwoerd in Pretoria.

Lesufi announced that the school would become known as Rietondale Secondary School.

"My mission in this world is to reverse everything this man called Verwoerd has done to our education system," he announced in a tweet on Monday evening.

"Others names like Jan Smuts will also fall."

Hendrik Verwoerd was a former South African prime minister, often attributed the title "Architect of Apartheid", according to South African History Online. He was assassinated in 1966. 

The name-changing process at the school started in 2016.

Parents of pupils at the school voted in favour of a new name in 2018 and settled for the name Rietondale Secondary School.

Social media users applauded Lesufi for the name change.

"You are truly something else. Never mind that. On behalf of the South Africans not only Gauteng people, we like to thank you for what you have achieved with regards to the education system in GP. Truth to be told, it will be great to see you as our minister of Education. Thank you," read one of the comments posted online.

A second read: "As a former learner of the school, it's great to hear and see ... Me and my high school mates would always talk about how this should happen but we were just kids with no specific power. Dankie Mr Panyaza Lesufi."

"You are the future. Decisive leadership," read a third reaction to the news.