We set statue alight – EFF

2015-04-03 19:12
EFF members 'necklacing' the Uitenhage War Memorial. (@shashashakes_79 , Twitter)

EFF members 'necklacing' the Uitenhage War Memorial. (@shashashakes_79 , Twitter)

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Port Elizabeth - EFF deputy chairperson for the Nelson Mandela Bay region, Bo Madwara, has confirmed that the local chapter was behind the setting alight of the War Memorial statue in Uitenhage’s Market Square on Thursday.

“Unfortunately we could not topple the statue, as the police came and stopped us,” he said.

Madwara said the Uitenhage war memorial was just the tip of the iceberg.

“The EFF has a programme in Nelson Mandela Bay that will seek to destroy all colonial statues that have been identified,” he said.

“As we wage a campaign for economic liberation, we said that economic liberation must be accompanied by the falling of these colonial statues.”

Madwara said that next time they would not stop until whatever statue they targeted was toppled.

“We will use ropes to drag the statues down to the ground, we will use whatever means necessary to remove these hurtful images from the faces of our people,” he said.

Madwara said the statues could be moved to museums, where people who wanted to learn about the “hurtful past” could view them, but said the statues needed to be removed from public view

Actions documented on Twitter

A series of tweets posted by #GovernmentInWaiting (@shashashakes_79), who describes himself as a “radical EFF foot soldier” documents the vandalism of the statue on Thursday.

In his tweets, @shashashakes_79 posted photos that show EFF clad members draping the statue with a red cloth and a tyre, before setting it alight. In some of the photos one member can be seen taking a sledge hammer to the statue.

@shashashakes_79  blamed the ANC for sending the police out to stop them.

Uitenhage War Memorial

“Anc sent police on us as we removing these things fo fre," he tweeted. (@shashashakes_79, Twitter)

@shashashakes_79 also said the EFF was providing a “Free service on destroying these things”

"Down with white supremacy symbols down!!" he tweeted. (@shashashakes_79, Twitter)

“We starting with symbols in @EFF_Mandela_Bay @Julius_S_Malema,” he said. (@shashashakes_79, Twitter)

“Down with racist bastards,” he tweeted. (@shashashakes_79, Twitter)

Police still investigating

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Basil Seekoei said that a detective from the Uitenhage police branch had been appointed to investigate the incident and that police had stepped up patrols around Market Square.

Seekoei said despite the EFF’s claiming responsibility, no arrests had yet been made as investigations were still ongoing.

Read more on:    eff  |  port elizabeth  |  monuments debate  |  cecil john rhodes

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