Sunette Bridges: Julius Malema must be arrested over statue debacle

2015-04-08 12:13

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Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema should be arrested for calling for the destruction of statues, singer Sunette Bridges said today.

Bridges was at a protest at the Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria.

This was after the EFF defaced it with green paint on Monday and the ANC Youth League called for the statue to be removed.

“Destroying this [Paul Kruger statue] is a crime. And Julius Malema was the one that initiated this entire process by getting on to a podium and telling his people to start destroying statues,” Bridges told City Press.

“When the very first one was defaced and damaged, he should have been arrested. We are here to call for the arrest of Malema and for this entire process to speak about moving these statues to stop immediately,” she said.

Bridges planned to chain herself to the statue but it never got that far.

“The intention was that I would chain myself to the statue until somebody from either the office of the mayor or the office of the president was to receive a memorandum.

“I think they were a bit scared of that because they were here at 6 o’clock this morning to receive whichever memorandum I had to give them,” she laughed.

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Police also told protesters that they couldn’t go near the statue because it was a crime scene, Bridges said.

She said it was “absolute nonsense because they allowed the public on there yesterday. It can’t possibly be a crime scene any more”.

She still planned to chain herself to the statue symbolically.

“We are here today to make a statement and that statement is not about Paul Kruger or about what happened here ... it’s about what is happening across the country to monuments, statues, sites of national heritage,” she said.

The debate around statues began after students threw human faeces at the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Bridges said there were laws governing the process of removing statues.

“This also applies to UCT so they must be very careful of what they are doing,” she said.

“They cannot have a committee at the university making that kind of a decision. It’s against the law. There needs to be a process and all of us need to be engaged in that process.”

The fate of the Rhodes statue will be decided today.

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