A statement by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Heritage Council of South Africa on the use of the old apartheid flag at the march by farmers on 30 October 2017 in Gauteng
The 30 October 2017 march held mainly in Gauteng by the farmers who had a grievance about the high number of farm murders that have been recorded in crime statistics was a genuine concern. This course was undermined by the regrettable behaviour of the participants of the march. The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) had observed with disappointment the use of the old flag that is symbolic of the most horrendous injustice against humanity.
Some of the videos that were posted on social media displayed the apartheid flag that was exposed to the public. It is disappointing, to say the least, that fellow South Africans would find the use of offensive apartheid symbols as a good means of expressing their concerns.
It should be understood what the meaning of the flag is for any nation especially ours with such a painful past. A nation uses its flag to display its patriotism to that values of its country. The current flag of our country acknowledges the sacrifice and the colonial history while reflecting hope for the nation’s prosperity as well as reconciliation. The apartheid flag on the other hand is no more a national symbol but it is rather viewed as a symbol that stood for dominance over the majority of the indigenous people of South Africa. The use of such a symbol goes against the grain of our agenda of nation building.
It would be appropriate for the organisers of the march to apologise publicly for offending the rest of South Africans. This apology should be accompanied by a pledge that all the organisations that were involved in the march will refrain from upsetting the nation in such an irresponsible manner. The National Heritage Council hope that such incidents will not reoccur in future.
Issued by: National Heritage Council (NHC)
Contact: Danny Goulkan (Communications Manager), 012 348 1663/ 072 952 2260/ firstname.lastname@example.org
For interview arrangements please contact Linda Shilakwe, 012 348 1663/ 082 657 7064/ email@example.com