Wooden bridge

Terry Crawford-Browne, Royal Ascot

That the City Council now deems it necessary to place a full page advertisement in Tabletalk (April 25) to justify squandering over R20 million of public money on a completely new (not reconstructed or restored) ersatz wooden bridge to Woodbridge Island highlights just how arrogant it has become in riding roughshod over the wishes of constituents.

The matter was debated at length in your columns over a year ago. The question of whether the old and now derelict bridge was even built during the South African War has also been historically challenged. Even it was, why should our community glorify a war that was deliberately instigated by Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner, and from which South Africa has still not fully recovered?

This also raises the issue of why we continue to honour a man who, in addition, was responsible for what became the 1913 Land Act, and the impoverishment and gross human rights atrocities that he inflicted upon our fellow citizens – both white and black?

Instead of resurrecting our tortured history with a fake monument to war, perhaps Milnerton should consider a change-of-name to Mpilo? I propose that we honour a man long resident in our midst – Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, whose middle name means “gift” or “life.”

Tutu in particular made an extraordinary contribution towards South Africa’s freedom from the shackles that Milner attempted to impose upon us all.