Monday, February 19, 2007

Cosatu backs airport name change

By Nadia Samie
19 February 2007


Trade union federation Cosatu has come out in support of Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool’s proposal to rename Cape Town International Airport to James La Guma Airport.

Rasool made the proposal to name the busy airport after the late trade unionist and liberation fighter during his State of the Province Address on Friday.

Cosatu says in a statement that, “we must honour the real leaders of our country, irrespective of race and party affiliation.”

Cosatu has called for a public process, to be wrapped up by the end of April 2007. They are also calling for the renaming of, “all streets and public spaces that still bear the offensive names of the apartheid past.”

Born in Bloemfontein in 1894, La Guma joined the Communist Party of South Africa in 1924. During apartheid, La Guma assisted in the organisation of unemployed workers, and in 1933 helped to organise the garment workers of the Cape. He served a term of imprisonment arising out of a strike by these workers.

La Guma died at the age of 67 while undergoing treatment for a heart ailment.

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