‘Leave Paul Kruger statue alone. It’s part of our heritage’

2015-04-08 12:59

Protesters and most bystanders at the Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria, agreed on one thing: the statue should not be removed.

About 80 protesters heeded the call by Afrikaans singer Sunette Bridges and the Front National party to come out and oppose the removal of the statue.

Flags of the party and placards calling for an independent Afrikaner state lined the area around the statue.

Some placards said the ANC had white Afrikaner blood on its hands, while others accused the government of window dressing its own reconciliation policies.

[gallery ids="160486,160487,160488,160489,160490,160491,160492"]

“This [the statue] is part of our history,” said Heleen du Toit, one of the protesters.

“It is a tourist attraction. People around the world come to Pretoria for it. Look at the buildings around. They are all historical. They can even put something next to this guy [Paul Kruger] but leave him.”

Oscar Mabasa, who works in the tourism industry, agreed.

“This is a major tourist attraction in Pretoria,” he said. “Removing it is not good from a tourism point of view. If we had to take these statues out, it should have been done around 1992 or when Madiba came out of prison.”

Karabo Sefolo, who works for the South African Police Service, said there were more important issues to worry about.

“Black children going to school should be the real issue. Not statues,” she said.

But Davis Chitumba, a Unisa student, said Kruger’s statue should be removed to give the country a fresh start.

“We should put something useful in its place. It reminds us of a bad past. We like the present and we hope we’ll like the future, but we absolutely hate the past,” he said.

A member of the ANC Women’s League, who did not want to be named, said the issue was divisive. “We have to stop this thing of fighting each other. It is part of our heritage.”

And Lerato Sekonya said history could not be changed. “If we support the removal of the statue, we are not for democracy. We are going back as a nation.”

Government workers Maggie Thinyane and Mlungisi Mthembu said that removing the statue was a “waste of energy, time and money”.

“The Mandelas and the Bikos wouldn’t have been as great as they were if it wasn’t for these people. Everyone has a place in history.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.