RENAMING OF KIMBERLEY AIRPORT :
The Northern Cape continues to suffer from historically-induced social and linguistic inequalities where we are still commemorating street names and symbols of people who founded colonialism and apartheid. As province we are expediting the process of renaming as a matter of urgency. But is also a process that we will be expediting within the legal framework of geographical name changes.
We must realize that name changes are important for us as South Africans to reclaim our heritage and cultural identity , as well as honouring our heroes and heroines who fought the liberation of this country which we are all enjoying today.
As South Africans we must be reminded of the fact that geographical name changes are a form of symbolic compensation for human rights abuse.
In a fractured society changing names can also be considered as a mechanism of transitional justice. As a form of symbolic reparation street names can assist in restoring dignity and public recognition to victims.
The Geographical Names Act of 1998 is not only a law of this country but an essential part of transformation. It is a legislative process intended to redress historical imbalances and thus contribute towards eradicating a history filled with oppression and forge, instead, a national identity to which all South Africans can ascribe.
Currently there is a process to rename 4 airports in South Africa of which Kimberley Airport is one of them. The Provincial Administration of the Northern Cape and the Members of the Executive Council led by Premier Sylvia Lucas endorsed that as a province the Kimberley Airport should be renamed to the “Ulysses Gogi Modise Airport”. The name of Ulysses Modise was nominated and comprehensive discussions took place around renaming the Kimberley Airport , after a pioneer who was born and raised in Kimberley and who tirelessly and relentlessly fought for the emancipation of the citizens of Kimberley and South Africa. As a province we are encouraging the citizens of the Northern Cape to endorse the name of Ulyssis Gogi Modise and support the Provincial Administration of the Northern Cape to rename the airport to Ulyssis Gogi Modise.
Mr Ulysses Modise was born Julius Gogi Kgabegenyane on 23 December 1942 to Johannes and Miriam Saitsiwi Daniels Kgabegenyane in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. It was in the midst of this oppression of one by another that Modise took a conscious and voluntary decision to join the African National Congress (ANC).
He was one of the first youths from Kimberley to skip the country and join the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He underwent military training in Lusaka, Zambia and became part of the Luthuli Detachment in 1967.
Reporting to the late OR Tambo, Modise would go on to systematically perform, engage and lead cover intelligence and counter-intelligence operations exposing spy rings within the movement. Modise served in the ANC both during the tough times of exile and back home in the democratic ANC- led government.
Between 1976 and 1980, he served as a member of the Department of National Intelligence and Security Directorate.
He also served in the Department of Intelligence and Security between 1980 and 1983. In 1981 he served as Deputy Head of Security. After the 1994 elections, Modise was appointed Intelligence Head in the Northern Cape.
In September 1998 he was promoted to the position of Coordinator of Intelligence for the Northern Cape. He was a member of the Eminent Persons Group and was responsible for the formalisation and welfare of the MK Military Veterans in the Northern Cape.
Modise collated information of the Struggle veterans and former MK combatants, including those who worked in the underground operations of the ANC in the Northern Cape. He endeavoured to create sustainable economic empowerment ventures for the stalwarts and veterans of the struggle. Modise passed away on 30 May 2007.
Ulysses Modise was posthumously awarded for: His excellent contribution to the struggle for the liberation of the people of South Africa. He selflessly left his loved ones for exile where he devoted his military skills to fight the apartheid regime. Mr. Ulysses Modise was bestowed with the Order of Mendi for Bravery by President Jacob Zuma on the 28 April 2016.
Spokesperson for the MEC of Sport , Arts and Culture – Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo- Gigaba