April Fool’s - Fury over Table Mountain’s name change

As part of an April Fool’s joke, Table Mountain released the below press release to encourage more people to vote for it as one of the New 7 Wonders Nature!

1 April 2009

The Table Mountain National Park and Aerial Cableway Company are up in arms over an instruction from the International Natural Heritage Organisation (INHO) that Table Mountain must change its name.

A spokesperson for INHO, a US based organisation which protects the heritage of natural sites around the globe, said that the decision was taken in collaboration with SANParks, after the US officially trademarked the name “Table Mountain” in February this year. According to the United States Geological Survey there are 21 Table Mountains recorded in the State of California alone.

“South Africa’s flat-topped mountain can no longer be referred to as Table Mountain, in accordance with the USA’s decision to globally copyright the name,” said an INHO spokesperson.

Stakeholders including Table Mountain National Park and Table Mountain Aerial Cableway had been given six months to come up with a new name and update all signage, official documentation and marketing material.

Table Mountain’s National Park’s Park Manager, Mr. Brett Myrdal, said, “We’re in a state of shock about this decision and are getting legal opinion on it.  Table Mountain National Park is a special place and has spiritual value for Capetonians.  This decision is not acceptable to us.”

Sabine Lehmann of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company said that she would fight this decision.

“I am appalled at this decision,” said Ms Lehmann. “I don’t know what they’ve been smoking but they are crazy if they think we’re going to sit by and allow this to happen. Table Mountain, South Africa is the most famous of all the Table Mountains around the globe. It is an iconic tourist site which has been visited by a multitude of heads of state and celebrities since the Cableway opened almost 80 years ago.”

“We are going to do everything in our power to put a stop to this even if we have to appeal to President Obama himself. In the mean time we have started an online petition and urge the public to go online to vote in favour of Table Mountain, South Africa.”

Visit www.votefortablemountain.com to vote.

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