Protect Afrikaner statues, monuments - AfriForum Youth

2015-04-12 17:30
The Louis Botha statue outside Parliament. (Lauren Hess, News24)

The Louis Botha statue outside Parliament. (Lauren Hess, News24)

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Cape Town - Afrikaner statues and monuments must be cordoned off and protected by security guards, AfriForum Youth demanded of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday.

A small group of AfriForum Youth members handed over a memorandum with a list of demands to protect Afrikaans heritage to the secretary of Parliament’s arts and culture committee.

Their other demands were that people who defaced statues be prosecuted, that the arts and culture department submit charges against offenders, and that the department take steps against political party members who made inciting utterances in this regard.

The organisation asked that the memorandum be signed or responded to in writing by no later than Tuesday.

As the group walked to Parliament, they hung signs of support around the necks of several statues in Cape Town, including that of Jan van Riebeeck in Heerengracht Street.

“We are glad to hear that the minister [Nathi Mthethwa] said there should be talks held. We welcome that. We feel that is the first step, but it should also not stay at talking, there should be action as well,” the youth organisation’s spokesperson Henk Maree told News24.

“We focus on Afrikaner heritage, but we do feel that mutual respect of heritage is necessary.”

The group gathered near the statue of Louis Botha outside of the gates of Parliament, which was smeared with red and blue paint on Wednesday night.

The words “Louis Botha Farmer Warrior Statesman”, on the base of the statue, were covered in red paint, while darker paint was splashed on Botha’s horse.

The incident took place amid a national debate on the future of colonial-era statues around the country.

The University of Cape Town council decided on Wednesday that the statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes, on the steps of the university’s upper campus, will be removed.

The removal was expected to happen at 17:00 on Thursday.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  nathi mthethwa  |  monuments debate

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