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Hundreds Rally Against Changing Name of South Africa's Capital


Hundreds of people, mostly white Afrikaners, marched through Pretoria Saturday, protesting a plan to change the name of South Africa's capital city.

Established in 1855, Pretoria was named for Andries Pretorius, an Afrikaner leader who fled into the country's interior to escape British rule.

But in March, the city council voted to change the name to Tshwane, meaning "we are the same." Only the city's center would still be called Pretoria. South Africa's Geographical Names Council meets Thursday to discuss the proposed change.

Former South African president F.W. de Klerk, who helped end apartheid, has criticized the plan. He says the name Pretoria symbolizes one of Africa's earliest fights for liberation - the anti-colonial war Afrikaners fought against the British.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.