Tshwane mayor condemns defacing of Paul Kruger statue

2015-10-06 20:06
Green paint covers part of the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Green paint covers part of the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has condemned the defacing of statues - including that of Paul Kruger - and has called on people to desist from cheap politicking.

Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said in a statement on Tuesday that the vandalising of the statue was an act of criminality aimed at political point scoring.

Green paint was thrown on several statues in Church Square on Monday night. The area around the Paul Kruger statue had been cordoned off with yellow police tape on Tuesday morning. It was not yet clear who was behind the defacing of the statues.

Earlier this year there was a spate of incidents related to statues and monuments around the country, most from the apartheid era.

The Pretoria Paul Kruger statue was one of them. Others that were defaced were the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Johannesburg, Louis Botha's statue in front of Parliament, the statue of a soldier in Uitenhage, Queen Victoria’s statue in Port Elizabeth, Paul Kruger in Krugersdorp, King George V’s statue at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and The Burger Monument in Burgersdorp.

Last month, the nose from a statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town was cut off with an angle grinder.

In a bid to find a solution to the defacing of statues in the city, Ramokgopa has engaged the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthetwa.

Numerous meetings had been held since April relating to the fate of statues, buildings and monuments in the city, particularly in terms of relocation, removal, renaming and/or restoration.

Ramokgopa said reviewing statues and other memorials in a post-democratic South Africa remained part of the role of heritage institutions.

"The City believes that as much as these incidents are symptomatic of deep seated issues within the nation, the heritage sector cannot afford to fold its arms and do nothing about them because it is... true that the pace of transformation in the sector has been slow," he said.

Police spokesperson Constable Tumisang Moloto said a criminal case had not been opened. 

Read more on:    city of tshwane  |  kgosientso ramokgopa  |  pretoria  |  monuments debate

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