- Orania must fall, said Panyaza Lesufi at a ceremony
- The Gauteng MEC for Education said the town does not belong in a non-racial South Africa
- The town, inhabited by 1 600 citizens, has been the subject of a lot of intense debate
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Gauteng MEC for Education and Harry Gwala Foundation board chair Panyaza Lesufi has called for the fall of Orania, South Africa's whites-only establishment.
Orania was founded in 1991 as an attempt to preserve Afrikaner culture in a changing South Africa. From its initial population of 13, the figure has grown to around 1 600 people.
The controversial town in the Karoo, Northern Cape was founded as a "safe haven" for Afrikaners who did not want to be forced into the "Rainbow Nation ideology" as democracy was looming.
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Lesufi has called for the town to fall as it is not a symbol of inclusivity nor democracy. The MEC said:
"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 on the basis of language or on the basis of a colour of a skin."
Lesufi relayed this message at a ceremony honouring Harry Gwala, who was an anti-apartheid activist, ANC and SACP leader. Lesufi and the foundation are also calling for Gwala's grave to be declared a national heritage site, said eNCA.
Orania residents claim the South African Constitution allows for them to exist on the basis of the right to self-determination.
Independent Online reported that the town has also inspired other Afrikaners who wish to practise this part of the Constitution. Adriaan Alettus Nieuwoudt is constructing a town in the Northern Cape as well called Eureka.
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