Clean-up operation at Paul Kruger statue

2015-04-07 12:01
The Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria, was defaced with green paint. (Theana Breugem, Netwerk24)

The Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria, was defaced with green paint. (Theana Breugem, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane was involved in a race against the sun in the clean-up operation at the vandalised Paul Kruger statue in Church Square on Tuesday.

An architect from the Department of Public Works assessed the damage after vandals covered two bronze sentries in green paint over the weekend.

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The architect, who asked to remain anonymous, said the paint was still relatively wet and warned that the city needed to move swiftly before the sun came out on an otherwise cloudy day.

Stonework

"The bronze statues per se are not such a problem but the stonework is quite porous and could pose a challenge," the architect said.

The Tshwane metro police reacted when the architect approached the statues with a bucket that appeared to have cleaning products inside.

The architect tested chemicals on the paint but the small patch he applied it to turned it into a green goo.

He advised that chemicals not be used as it would make the cleaning operation nearly impossible.

Meanwhile, curious people had surrounded the statue throughout Tuesday morning, with some taking turns to pose with the bronze and green sentries while others opted for selfies.

EFF claims responsibility

The Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] on Monday claimed responsibility for the defacing of Paul Kruger's statue.

"Yes, the EFF in Tshwane has taken responsibility for [it]," said party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

"The EFF in Tshwane has long launched a campaign where it has demonstrated, calling on the city to remove the statue with immediate effect and substitute it with a different statue or monument," Ndlozi said.

Mayoral spokesperson Blessing Manale on Monday said security had since been tightened at several points around the capital city which have historic statues.

"The city has decided to up security at the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, the City Hall and at the Union Buildings," Manale said.

The defacing of Kruger comes amid calls for historic statues to be removed from central areas.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  monuments debate

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