ATM leader Vuyo Zungula calls for Union Buildings to be renamed

Image credit: Twitter/Vuyo Zungula and Flickr/amanderson2

African Transformation Movement (ATM) President Vuyolwethu Zungula wants the Union Buildings renamed.

Zungula made the call in a Twitter post on Saturday.

He wrote, “It is a name that brought together the British and Afrikaners in order to put their differences aside and oppress the black majority.”

Zungula’s call not the first

This isn’t the first time a prominent politician has called for the renaming of South Africa’s seat of government.

In 2006, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) made a similar call.

Fikile Mbalula, who was the ANCYL’s President at the time, also said the name represents “oppression.”

“There is nothing important about the Union Buildings but it was named (as such) as a symbol of oppression of our people,” he was quoted saying.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) opposed the calls at the time.

Amphitheatre renamed

In 2013, the Union Buildings’ amphitheatre was renamed the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.

Former President Jacob Zuma made the announcement during the memorial service of the late President Nelson Mandela.

A giant statue of Mandela was also unveiled at the Buildings in 2013.

Traditionally, presidential inaugurations have taken place at the Union Buildings.

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa broke the tradition this year and held his inauguration at the Loftus Versfeld stadium.

Sir Herbert Baker designed the Union Buildings in 1908 and construction commenced in 1909. It was completed in 1913.

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