The African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State says all due processes were followed in the renaming of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela. The party says it is satisfied that it was a people-driven process. It contends that struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela played a pivotal role in ensuring that the country attained democracy.

The ANC’s Free State Interim Provincial Committee representative, Thabo Meeko, says the recognition of the struggle icon is a fitting tribute to her for the sacrifices she made for the country to be where it is today.

“Most importantly we welcome the fact that it was a people-driven process and satisfied all the requirements of the law in terms of the renaming of things in our country. We welcome also the fact that the family of mama was taken on board to guide the process up until its finality. It came of age after much debate on the issue up until it has been finalised,” says Meeko.

Mixed reactions to approval of name change of the town of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela:

The Congress of the People (COPE) has called the renaming of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela as sabotaging the true history of South Africa.

The party says the changing of the town’s name will deprive the next generations of the true history of the struggle.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has approved the name change which was gazetted on Friday. COPE Spokesperson, Dennis Bloem has appealed to government to reverse its decision.

“Generations to come will be deprived of the true history and legacy of our struggle heroes and heroines if we allow this government to continue with such irresponsible decisions. The name Brandfort carries very rich history as part of our painful past the was as Robben Island prison. The fact of the matter is that Mme Winnie Mandela was banished to Brandfort in the Free State and not to Winnie Mandela,” says Bloem.