Gauteng sport and culture MEC urges Africans to unite, says apartheid statues should stay put

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Gauteng Sport, Arts and Culture MEC, Mbali Hlophe, says Africans should learn to protect each other, rather than hate each other. Hlophe was speaking at the Gauteng government’s Africa Day celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

This year South Africa marks the day, which is celebrated on May 25 on the continent annually, under the theme “Year for Arts, Culture and Heritage in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke”.

Gauteng is home to many Africans looking for economic and educational opportunities, peace, and stability.

Hlophe called on people of all cultures living in the province to protect each other.

“Part of what makes us a unique province is our diversity and that is something we must protect. Our ability to have everybody come into this province wherever you come from all of us meet here in Gauteng and when we meet here it means we are bringing our different experiences. Our different cultures. Our different attributes and all these things is what makes us unique because it means we can draw from each other’s strengths.”


Hlophe also weighed in on the debate on colonial and apartheid symbols.

She says there is no need for colonial and apartheid statues to fall. Instead, she adds, the government should erect plaques next to those statues, explaining the role of these figures in the history of the country.

” Let’s rather put the plaques next to these statutes so that as it stands there we must be able to say that this is Botha and under him these were the policies that were put in place and this is how the effects of these policies, they divided society and so forth and these are mistakes that the future generations must never make. But beyond just putting plaques we also are going to embark on putting new statutes up but of individuals that must be celebrated,” explains Hlophe.

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