Posted on August 4, 2004

South Africa: Not Canceling Christmas, Aug. 2

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) — South Africa has denied a media report it plans to cancel Christmas.

South Africa’s Sunday Times ran a banner headline “Christmas may be canceled,” above a story quoting a task force evaluating the number of public holidays as warning that no holiday should be regarded as sacred in multiracial South Africa.

“I would like to reassure all of you that there is no such report which has been tabled (introduced) before me,” Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told a parliamentary committee Monday in response to the article.

“There has not been that recommendation.”

Last year, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a Post Office ad asking children to write to Santa Claus, saying it was “profiting from the natural credulity of children” and perpetuating “a falsehood that could break the fragile spirits of the already disillusioned youth of South Africa.”