Oct 08, 2009

Afrikaner: Fifa Demands Key as Name Battle Goes to Court

Active ImageThe Pretoria High Court has heard that the Tshwane Metro Council will not uproot all signage boards with the name "Pretoria" on them and replace them with new ones.





Below is an article published by iol:


The Pretoria High Court has heard that the Tshwane Metro Council will not uproot all signage boards with the name "Pretoria" on them and replace them with new ones.

Advocate Vincent Maleka, SC, for the municipality, argued on Tuesday [6 October] that the new route and direction markings - in terms of the Fifa 2010 Host City Agreement - would be erected at a number of gateways identified by the municipality.

"There is no way that the municipality will uproot the current signs and replace them with new ones," Maleka argued.

He said the current direction signs bearing the name "Pretoria" on all major routes into the city would remain even if the council was granted permission to erect new ones for the 2010 soccer spectacle.

"The signage for which my clients seek permission are to promote the football spectacle," said Maleka.

The municipality approached the high court on Tuesday [6 October] in a bid to get the go-ahead to erect signage boards to the main entrances to Pretoria for the 2010 World Cup, bearing the name "City of Tshwane" next to the word "Fifa".

The municipality stated in court papers that Fifa had concluded the 2010 Host City Agreement with the "City of Tshwane" and not with Pretoria.

The problem arose when the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and Afriforum objected to this and referred the council to a 2007 interim order, in which Judge Bill Prinsloo provisionally interdicted the council from substituting the name "Pretoria" on signage boards with that of "Tshwane".

This was pending the outcome of a main application in this regard, which is still to be heard.

However, the council said the terms of the interim order were being misconstrued.

Ronald Makopo, the council's executive director: legal services, stated in his affidavit that the terms of the court order were "very clear".

"They refer only to that signage bearing the name 'Pretoria' and which the City of Tshwane may want to change by substituting them with the signage bearing the name 'Tshwane'.

"This, in our view, has absolutely nothing to do with the signage promoting the World Cup as envisaged in the Host City Agreement," he said.

Maleka said his clients had an obligation to Fifa to promote the soccer tournament. Fifa had stated that for international reference and ticketing, the name "Tshwane/Pretoria" (or vice versa) should be used, while for the domestic market the name "Tshwane" should be used.

Quintus Pelser, SC, argued that his clients - the FF+ and Afriforum - were concerned that the municipality would inscribe "Tshwane" and not "Pretoria" on the signboards. He said the FF+ and Afriforum had a cultural heritage which they had to protect.

"But we do not want to block things," said Pelser, adding that the FF+ and Afriforum were behind South Africa hosting a successful soccer tournament in 2010.

Earlier, Judge Legodi Phatudi turned down an application by Pelser to have Fifa, the Local Organising Committee and the Department of Arts and Culture joined in the application by the metro council.

Pelser had argued that it would be prejudicial for Fifa and the LOC if they were not joined in the application.

"We are not saying that the applicant should bring Fifa to a South African court. What we are saying is that there should be a letter stating that they are satisfied that the matter comes to court," said Pelser.

Phatudi reserved judgment on Tuesday [6 October], stating that he needed to apply his mind to a number of aspects of the matter.