It turns out that Julius Malema's call for Cape Town International Airport to be renamed after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was not that far-fetched. According to Eyewitness News (EWN), plans are in place to change the name of the airport and Madikizela-Mandela's name is among those submitted as candidates.
The EFF leader called for the airport to be renamed after the struggle icon during his rousing speech at her funeral on Saturday.
The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) reportedly confirmed that Transport Minister Blade Nzimande directed it to facilitate name change for Cape Town International in March this year.
Transport ministry spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi reportedly told EWN that talks were underway with the department of arts and culture.
"The names directly canvassed with the department and indirectly canvassed through the media include among others, Nelson Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Robert Sobukwe. Minister Nzimade believes that it is important that such an important airport should be named after one of our liberation icons," Mnisi reportedly said.
The Cape Town International Airport entry was changed on Wikipedia almost immediately after Malema's speech.
The entry read, "Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport formerly known as Cape Town International Airport (IATA: CPT, ICAO: FACT)... Winnie Madikizela-Mandela International Airport is the only airport in the Cape Town metropolitan area that offers scheduled passenger services. The airport has domestic and international terminals, linked by a common central terminal."
Malema's idea appears to have caught on on social media, according to TimesLive, with radio personalities Anele and Tbo Touch leading the call.
Can't wait to fly from OR Tambo to Winnie Madikizela Mandela Airport in 2018. Thank you @Julius_S_Malema this will be one amongst many legacy projects under @CyrilRamaphosa leadership. #WinnieMandelaFuneral— Tbo Touch (@iamtbotouch) April 14, 2018
In fact I am calling it Winnie Mandela airport from here out !!!!!! Viva Julias Malema VIVA !!!!— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) April 14, 2018
We want— TwịtterBraaiStand (@MzansiRoasters) April 14, 2018
Winnie Mandela Day
Winnie Mandela Airport
Winnie Mandela University
Winnie Mandela Hospital
Winnie Mandela International Airport in the Mother City because she's the Mother of the Nation pic.twitter.com/wfkhmBiWxG— #IAmWinnieMandela 🇿🇦 (@KatlehoMK) April 14, 2018
RT for Winnie Mandela Airport pic.twitter.com/MuhBRFbAxC— Motlhanka WaMorena (@cappuccino_DJ) April 14, 2018