Name airport after Allan Boesak

Calvin Rix, Strandfontein

The recent fracas at the airport meeting and other developments surrounding the Cape Town Airport name change have to be contextualised.

Not long ago the airport authorities would have us believe that a name change was needed from DF Malan to a politically neutral name. Millions of rands were spent on the name change.

D F Malan was an apartheid prime minister and a Dutch Reformed Church minister who held a doctorate in religion and his sole aim was the formal institutionalisation of apartheid.

Many decades later, another Dutch Reformed Church minister, who also held a doctorate in religion, came along and worked tirelessly to eradicate apartheid from all facets of society – Allan Boesak – who incidentally describes himself as a “Khoi-San child”

Surely if the airport name has to be changed, the only logical new name would be that of Boesak?

Dr Allan Boesak single-handedly and at great cost to his personal life, marshalled various forces to unite against apartheid.

Like a candle, he burnt himself out to provide light to others.

Witness his role in the Belhar confession and in having the World Alliance of Reformed Churches declare apartheid a heresy.

And his role in the UN Security Council resolution declaring apartheid a crime against humanity.

While others looked on, he was marching to Pollsmoor “to fetch Mandela”.

And who can forget the United Democratic Front (UDF), which he was instrumental in establishing?

To those critics who will undoubtedly rehash old fraud and other allegations, it suffices that Nelson Mandela described Boesak as one of South Africa’s “most gifted men”.

Mandela continued that he “deserved a very high position”.

Thabo Mbeki’s legal adviser exonerated Boesak, finding that there had been “no evidence that Dr Boesak misappropriated funds”.

Nelson Mandela declared that the prosecution had not even established a prima facie case against Boesak at the time.

History will harshly judge the judicial officers who convicted Mandela, Boesak and thousands of other anti-apartheid campaigners and fighters.

South Africans and residents of Cape Town deserve the honour of landing and departing from Dr Allan Boesak International Airport.

It will call the past into remembrance and caution against attempts to justify a future where discrimination based on colour would be acceptable. It will also celebrate our victory against apartheid.