Flying the old flag

The “old South Africa” is still alive and well on the Cape Flats.

The country’s old “oranje, blanje, blou” flag was spotted fluttering over a Coloured [mixed race] residence in Fifth Road, Heathfield.

But neighbours say the flag is an insult to those who fought for freedom, and reminds them of the brutal days of apartheid.

They say the flag has been hoisted since October, and requests for it to be taken down have been ignored.

“This behaviour, in my opinion, indicates a total disrespect to the law and an insult to others,” said resident Richard Talliard.

But Mishkah Jappie, 36, says her husband Thaabied, 40, has “very good reasons” why he hung the flag on their roof.

“We believe nothing has changed from the apartheid days,” said the mom of six.

Thaabied was out on the road, looking for work when the Daily Voice visited. He lost his job as a paramedic in 2009.

“We don’t have water or electricity here and nothing seems to be better in our lives,” added Mishkah.

She said Thaabied got the flag from his stepfather, who served in the army during apartheid.

Her husband has become bitter because doors are still being slammed in his face more than 20 years after democracy.

“I am proud to say Nelson Mandela has opened up the pathway for us to prosper equally. But a lot of people are struggling while a few are getting richer everyday,” she added.

She said neighbours have asked them to remove the weathered and faded flag, but they refused.

The flag has become her family’s own symbol of oppression in the new South Africa.

“The neighbours say it’s hurting them to see the flag, but there are still features of the old order here,” said Mishkah.

A neighbour who did not want to be identified said: “Many people died because of that flag, it opens up old wounds for all of us.”

The South African Human Rights Commission said it would look into the matter.

Spokesman Isaac Mangena says: “South Africa has a flag that represents a rainbow nation. People must desist from displaying anything that would remind others of their sad past.”

Source: Daily Voice