Call for renaming of Devils’ Peak causes stir

This week’s cartoon by Barry de Jager. (Click on image to view an enlargement.)

Ever since Gateway News broke the story about a campaign to rename Devil’s Peak on Friday, June 6 2014, there has been a media flurry that has spread from Cape Town to America. The story was picked up and carried on the front page of Afrikaans daily, Die Burger, the following Tuesday, which resulted in the group behind the action being inundated with requests for interviews, including one from BBC Radio and E-TV. Most of the initial comments from the public have reflected a certain level of irritation at what they deem to be a trivial and wasteful initiative, preferring to see the name of the Devil remain in the Mother City.

Director of Transformation Africa, Barry Isaacs, who is a member of the group calling itself the Mountain Name Change Committee (MNCC), says: “The difference of opinion is a democratic right. However, the implication of this effort to change the name of the mountain is that, instead of a name signifying evil, we can have one of the original names of the peak, which is universally accepted symbol of peace, reinstated. By replacing the name of Devil’s Peak with Dove’s Peak, we can position Cape Town as a forerunner in promoting peace.”

Devils Peak, Cape Town (Photo: Wikimedia)

A question that has been raised by many of those who have voiced an opinion is: why bother with symbolism when there are other problems facing society, like poverty and a lack of housing?

Grassroots initiatives
One response from a member of the public was: “You are definitely correct, but in order to do all that, the renaming should come first. That will then change the spiritual atmosphere over Cape Town, and create one that is godly. Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. Liberty from joblessness, poverty, poor infrastructure, sickness and immorality. May God fulfil and answer the prayers of his saints. Amen.” Isaacs’ response is that the organisation he directs is involved in grassroots initiatives to help the poor. “We use money often forked out of our own pockets,” he says. “As a Christian, if you go into the Old Testament, there are examples where kings tore down idols and, as a result, enjoyed good health and prosperity. The other point that was made via an SMS I received is, why should we give credit to someone who hasn’t even created anything?” Isaacs adds.

One of the comments published on local news site, News24, states: “The easiest way to make this a non-issue is by stop believing in the devil! Once you stop believing in the devil, you not only make this a non-issue, you also get rid of many fears and problems. This will lead to a happier life and you can attend to issues that really matter.” Still another comment on a site called, ClimbZA, states: “It’s the 21st century, man has been to the moon and back, but still there are people that think that a name of a peak contains an unseen spiritual force that we cannot overcome.” These and other similar comments appear to show a general trend of unbelief in the existence of spiritual forces or the authenticity of the Bible, which clearly states that ‘we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world , against spiritual wickedness in high places’ – Ephesians 6: 12. This verse is quoted in a response to the previous Gateway News article, which states: “It’s not just about a name… Mountains represent places of authority, of rulership and influence over a sphere of society…”

According to Isaacs, he has spoken to non-Christians about the campaign and some have voiced their support for it. He says the MNCC is finalising plans to reach as many interested and affected parties during the month of July. “Our aim is not to have this action perceived as a fanatical Christian initiative, but rather to place the focus on the wellbeing of the City. I have been to various places in the world and the desire of most people, when they see the world bleeding, is for peace – almost everyone can embrace this,” Isaacs explains.


  1. Perhaps this mountain is named correctly, not only traditionally but also for the status quo of the inner-City it overlooks. The City is full of sin against Almighty God. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the Devil can orchestrate and manipulate with ease. I think we sealed our fate by our infidelity with God when we aligned ourselves as a twin with the most sinful City in America. If we are going knock the devil off the mountain, lets rather go further than peace and appeasement and rename it in honour of our Creator. (Take note Isaiah 26:21) God Bless. Peter (Value Life)

  2. I have hiked that mountain on a few occasions already. Must say, I have not seen the devil, nor felt him. All I felt is an overwhelming sense of awe about God’s wonderful creation he left us to enjoy. Don’t give the devil credit where it is not due. Go hike up there and experience God’s wonderful presence.

  3. We used to hike on the mountain, even lived below the mountain, but those days have gone and it is no longer safe to do so. I am not giving the devil any credit, I merely said that we are reminded of him. So please don’t put words in my mouth. If you come into the city centre tonight, and walk it in prayer as I do, you will see and feel the evil. Fornication, drugs, prostitution and even human trafficking, and all this after the killing of little babies during the day(abortion) which the devil enjoys as sacrifice.

  4. The story goes that the original Dutch settlers named the peak “Duifels Piek”, namely, as Barry says, “Doves’ Peak” in English, after the flocks of doves that inhabited it. Problem is that when the ‘donderse Engelse’ arrived they couldn’t pronounce “Duifel’s Piek” properly and before long their mispronunciation resulted in the name becoming “Devil’s Peak”, as it is today. So I am in full agreement: lets cease to honour the Devil – for he does exist, you know. Lets rename the peak to it’s original name, but in English this time – ie “Doves’Peak” – and be done with it! After all, it was a dove that descended on our Lord after John the Baptist baptised Him, so what better name to give this mountain that, together with Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, stands guard over our beloved City of Cape Town?! I rest my case…

  5. Peter I cannot agree with you more. Surely its obvious by the name ‘Devil’s Peak’ which derived from the Basarwa name -Gauwai Hoerikwaggo- meaning Satan’s Pinnacle (see Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society By Mathias Georg Guenthe), that there is some evil force attributed to this part of the Table Mountain range. As you rightly observed that as you walk around the area at night you can feel the evil permeating down from the mountainside. Years gone by it was not so evident, however lately with the increase in the interest in Satanism within our society- which encourages and promotes fornication, drug and substance abuse and other iniquitous lifestyles- the atmosphere in the streets at night is theurgy. I do not venture into that part of the city by myself after dark and I suppose would only do so in a crowd to spread the Lords message with His protection. I pray everyday to our Savior that he cleanses our loved City of Cape Town from the evil forces of Devil’s Peak. By changing the name would certainly be the first step in restoring the area to what God had in mind when He created the beautiful and iconic landscape of the Cape of Good Hope and its surrounds. Amen

  6. No good will come from re-naming. God wants our hearts not our tokens and empty actions. Recently God viewed 18 million voters turn out to elect a government and as few as 150 thousand elected to vote for party’s guided by Gods precepts. rather go buy a blanket and give it to somebody that is out there exposed to this cold and then pray that no-body like law enforcement takes it away from them. Isaiah 58:7

    • Peter I believe there will be an immediate adverse effect to Satan’s hold over the city if the name is changed.
      Take for instance God’s Window on the Drakensberg escarpment in Mpumalanga. It is well known that it was originally called !Ixgwe (Divine Source) and believed by the local bushmen of the region to be sacred birth place of their gods closely associated to “Cagn” (also known Kaang or Kaggen) who was supposedly the supreme god of the San. He was a trickster god who can shape-shift, most often into the praying mantis but also takes the form of a bull eland, a louse, a snake, and a caterpillar.
      Prior to the locals being saved by Our Lord Savior, it is well documented that the vegetation throughout the Blyde River Canyon was less abundant as we know it today. It was soon thereafter that the named changed to God’s Window and the trees in the forests and the landscape changed dramatically as God revitalized the area to how He had first created it – a beautiful majestic Eden-like aesthetic appearance.
      That just goes to prove that anything associated with God’s name will definitely bear His witness. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! …… Psalm 8:1
      As I mentioned before by changing the name would certainly be the first step in restoring the area to what God had in mind when He created the beautiful and iconic landscape of the Cape of Good Hope and its surrounds. Amen

  7. Hugh G Wetmore

    It is an interesting theory that a ‘name’ can cause something bad or good. In the Bible ‘names’ followed something bad or good. They were the result, not the cause. 1 Sam 4:21; Hosea 1 etc. God’s decision to curse followed Gomer’s adultery, and bad-names were the result. Attributing power to ‘names’ borders on superstition. As for Kenk’s “you can feel the evil permeating down from the mountain”, I lived on the slopes of Devil’s Peak and I never felt any evil of this nature. But 60 years later I feel evil permeating everywhere, and don’t go walking at night in any city, as I did in Mowbray, Observatory, Woodstock in the 1950s. Crime is now endemic everywhere.

    On another tack: South Africa spends millions on renaming streets and buildings after struggle heroes – so why not rename Devil’s Peak with a name befitting the liberation from devil-sourced racial discrimination? Dove Peak has a positive ring about it, that should please both the New S.A. and the God of Peace. A name-change will not change the evil in the city, just as calling S.A. a “Christian” nation did not stop apartheid. That level of heart-change requires the New Birth by the Holy Spirit, followed by Obedience to God’s moral requirements. 1 John 3:4-10 “… this is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are …” Blessings on you, Barry Isaacs!

  8. Yes Mr Isaacs and Co. The tried and proven way of Faith, Hope, and Love (Charity) is laid out for us by Paul. discern 1 Corinthians chapter 13. The blood of Christ will transform our lives and hearts. So We should follow the lead of our brave chief justice, who calls for God given values to be returned to society. If the aim is for ‘peace’ then lets be seen as being bold in the eyes of our God of the Bible and erect a cross or statue of Christ that the city can see every day or night like Rio. This will show our healthy fear of God and our true hope in the blood of His son.(John 9:5) The Bible revels to us that God is a Father of action He wants us to be a people of action also, so lets not insult Him or provoke His anger by lip service. Because that is what this re-naming exercise is. As I said we are here to serve, so lets promote “go and buy a blanket.” Abe Lincoln said ‘ I feel sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.’
    In the end it matters not of what I think but I tell you all that ‘I’ will pray that Gods will is done… a informative read is A.W.Tozer “The Knowledge of the Holy.” a rediscovery of the majesty of God will go a long way to curing our moral ills in society. Let not this mountain by re-naming become Cape Towns golden calf. God bless Peter.(Value Life.)

  9. Peter you have good reasoning here and I like the idea of building a monument of some sort to depict the eyes of God looking over and protecting the City of Cape Town. Definitely not a golden calf as you keep mentioning, because I am sure you are aware as the bible tells us it was an image of gold in the shape of a calf, made by Aaron in response to the Israelites’ plea for a god while they awaited Moses’ return from Mount Sinai, where he was receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 32). “we were led astray by the seductions of the golden calf”. An angel or statue of the Virgin Mother Mary would be more appropriate, however it could alienate the Jewish and Muslim communities of Cape Town who would rather have the Star of David or a crescent moon. As Rumi a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet said “The angel is free because of his knowledge, the beast because of his ignorance. Between the two remains the son of man to struggle.”
    But first the name needs to change, and as Hugh agrees about the evil permeating everywhere nowadays, and also having a world heritage site like Table Mountain which God created for all to enjoy slowly being inhabited by Satan, the sooner the better.
    Like you Peter, I pray constantly that our Lord and Savior’s work will soon be evident to the world, when He expels the fornicators and closes the dens of iniquity, the pubs, the brothels and places where the youth of our Christian nation are corrupted by the ungodly music, and restores the City of Cape Town back to what it was like when Hugh and I could walk around the area knowing that Jesus was present and was looking after us, and we felt safe.
    Read Isaiah 14:12-20; Ezekiel 28:1-19; Revelation 12:7-9- how God expelled Satan from heaven.
    But let’s start with a name change, and my suggestion to Barry Isaacs is – Hellion Crest meaning the sun of God’s warmth.
    Let God’s word be heard throughout our land. Spread the word and change the name of Devils Peak before the entire Cape of Good Hope becomes the Cape of No Hope. Amen

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