WE agree with much that is contained in the article by Ismail Mahomed on the issue of Grahamstown's name ("Name change debate re-opens division wounds", October 3), but it is misinformed and misleading on one cardinal aspect.
There is no neat white and black division between those on different sides of the argument as he says there is.
Keep Grahamstown Grahamstown (KGG) was launched after an opinion poll showed that the majority of Grahamstonians, black and white (the majority of respondents were black), were in favour of keeping the name.
The results gave the lie to the claim by the then Makana mayor, Pumelelo Kate, that the name was "offensive" to the majority of Grahamstonians.
Those results were then borne out by an independent survey by the Rhodes University Institute for Social and Economic Research. Significantly, the Rhodes University survey was conducted exclusively in Grahamstown's townships and by far the majority of respondents were either not in favour of changing the name or felt it was not a priority to do so.
As KGG we have tried to avoid the debate becoming an acrimonious and divisive one. We have based our argument for retaining the name rather on all of the good things that have come out of Grahamstown and which we should be celebrating in this its 200th year.
The National Arts Festival is just one of those things and no-one can surely be more aware of the positive currency of the Grahamstown name than Mahomed in his position as the festival's artistic director.
The historically economically challenged community are not "resolute to see the name change" as Mahomed suggests they are. They are also not represented by those, like councillor Julia Wells, who are pushing for the name change.
These are rather a faction who are attempting to gain political mileage out of the issue and to distract from more pressing socio-economic needs.
Mahomed believes that the name will inevitably change. That will only happen if people are duped by the same lie which he seems to have fallen for.
Jock McConnachie and Sigidla Ndumo, for Keep Grahamstown Grahamstown