End of the Ora? Mounting calls for Orania to be shut down
Orania has been in the spotlight this week after comments made by Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi.
What Lesufi said
Earlier this week, Lesufi, who spoke at a ceremony honouring late struggle stalwart Harry Gwala, called for the Afrikaner town to fall as it is neither a symbol of inclusivity nor democracy.
“We understand why that institution was established. It has lived its time now. It’s now that that place must be liberated and all South Africans must be allowed to stay wherever they want to stay.
“We don’t say we want to stay with them but you can’t have an institution that is established based on language or based on the colour of a skin,” said Lesufi.
He also called for the town's “madness” to end, saying: "If you think we will keep quiet you are wrong. This madness must come to an end. It’s a betrayal of our call for a truly non-racial SA.”
This is money used in our country only by people who speak a certain language. They also have their own flag and laws. If you think we will keep quiet you are wrong. This madness must come to end. It’s a betrayal of our call for a truly non racial South Africa. #Orania pic.twitter.com/szTXPwScFi— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) June 22, 2020
What Carl Niehaus said
ANC stalwart Carl Niehaus weighed in on the debate on Tuesday, saying, “not keeping quiet is not good enough”.
“Destroy the money, destroy the damn flag. Charge these white, Orania ‘Boere’, for their racism, throw them in jail,” he said.
“If our laws are not strong enough on racism to do that, pass the necessary legislation. This nonsense cannot be tolerated.”
In response to the calls, an Orania Facebook page posted an Afrikaans poem about their roots.
The Afrikaner town is situated in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape province. It was established in 1963, in an attempt to preserve the Afrikaner culture within South Africa.
It has a population of nearly 2,000 people. It is also a self-sufficient town and has its own currency called the Ora.
According to a BBC report, prospective residents who apply to live in the town are screened by the town council using strict criteria, which include first and foremost being an ethnic Afrikaner.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.