Man arrested for vandalising Queen Victoria statue an EFF member - police

2015-04-13 19:52
An image captured on Friday morning of the vandalised Queen Victoria statue in Port Elizabeth. (<a href="https://twitter.com/Tiger27223127" target="_blank">Gerida, Twitter</a>)

An image captured on Friday morning of the vandalised Queen Victoria statue in Port Elizabeth. (Gerida, Twitter)

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Port Elizabeth - The man arrested for the vandalism of the Queen Victoria statue in Port Elizabeth has been identified as a regional member of the EFF.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Sandra Janse van Rensburg, confirmed that the 24-year-old man arrested, had been identified as EFF Regional Science, Technology and Education officer, Paul Walsh.

Walsh was arrested on Monday on charges of malicious damage to property, as well as being in contravention of the heritage act, for his involvement in the vandalism of the Queen Victoria statue in Govan Mbeki Avenue in Port Elizabeth last week.

His arrest follows despite the EFF distancing themselves from the vandalism.

Janse van Rensburg said Walsh had appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court and had subsequently been released for further investigation to take place.

When contacted for comment, EFF deputy chairperson for the Nelson Mandela Bay region, Bo Madwara said they were aware of the charges against Walsh, but were not prepared to comment at this time.

The Queen Victoria statue, which has stood outside the city’s main library since 1905, was covered in green paint last week Thursday evening.

Video footage captured from CCTV cameras around the city centre show a man, now believed to be Walsh, throwing paint at the statue.

The footage showed a white male climbing out of a vehicle just after 23:00 on Thursday. The man can then be seen approaching the statue and throwing paint at it.

He is believed to have then climbed back into the vehicle and driven off.

The damage was apparently discovered later by guards on patrol and reported.  

The CCTV footage has been handed over to the police forensics team and the statue has been covered with a tarpaulin by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality until it can be cleaned. 

Read more on:    eff  |  port elizabeth  |  monuments debate

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