Those statues should have been removed 21 years ago

2015-04-13 15:24

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It is rather disappointing that we have only realised now that the apartheid and colonial statues are no longer suitable to be displayed in public.

These apartheid and colonial symbols should have been removed and kept in museums in 1994.

For the past 21 years these statues have been standing tall, watching over the land and the people they once conquered.

To the conquered, seeing these statues do not bring feelings of reconciliation but those of anger and hatred.

The descendants of the conquerors pat themselves on the back and lament about how great their forefathers have been to have conquered us.

Perhaps the arrogance of those who are resisting change in this country is bolstered by the constant reminder of how Cecil John Rhodes and others defeated our forefathers.

It is strange that the current government saw it fit to change street names but leave the statues until now, when students had to start the debate.

Calling for the removal of these statues does not translate to writing off part of our history; we cannot wish away our past. Colonialism and apartheid are part of our history and the future generations need to know the truth so that what happened will not be repeated.

At the same time we, the current generation, cannot claim to be free when every time we go to the University of Cape Town we are reminded of white supremacy by Rhodes’ statue hovering over our shoulders.

Any form of vandalism is unacceptable. The government has indicated that there is a process to follow for the removal of these statues.

People should rather follow this process instead of engaging in acts that will place them in conflict with the law.

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