City gardener not amused by cartoon superheroes prank

2016-01-12 10:02
The statue of Spider-Man in the flower bed near the Golden Horse Casino.

The statue of Spider-Man in the flower bed near the Golden Horse Casino. (Mbulaheni Tshivhase, Facebook)

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Pietermaritzburg - Statues of cartoon characters have begun appearing in the municipal flower and vegetable beds in the city — and the creator of the gardens is not amused.

It is unknown who placed the statues of Spider-Man and Diego the sabre tooth tiger from the movie Ice Age.

Among the colourful and ornately arranged flowers, the fibreglass statues stick out like a sore thumb.

Spider-Man was placed in the bright and dainty garden opposite the Golden Horse Casino on Friday.

Two days earlier, Diego was placed in the flower bed across from Cowdry Park flats near the Woodburn Stadium.

Residents are baffled at the bizarre appearance of the statues, which many have termed an “expensive and silly prank”.

Msunduzi horticulturist Mbulaheni Tshivhase, who is in charge of the municipal gardens, said the placement of the statues ruined the gardens’ natural beauty and the hard work done by the municipal workers.

“It is an eyesore and it does not even complement the garden,” he said.

“I wonder what their objective was, but whoever did this obviously doesn’t know much about gardening and what gardens are supposed to look like.”

He said both statues had been made from the same material and had most likely come from the same place.

Tshivhase said the statues were heavy and could not be carried by one person.

“We have already taken the SpiderMan statue out of the flower bed near the casino, and we will be removing the tiger statue tomorrow [today].”

Residents from the Cowdry Park flats said the Diego statue had appeared overnight, and they had not seen who had placed the tiger in the flower bed.

One resident, who would not be named, said the statue had been there since last Wednesday, and he had initially thought the municipality had put it up.

“We don’t like it; it spoils the beauty of the garden,” said the resident.

“People walking past seem to be amused by it and we suspect it is a prank, but it is a very silly one,” he said.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said while the municipality appreciated the gesture, it asked that the people involved in the placement of the statues to remove them.

“As much as we appreciate the gesture, the statues are not in the right place,” she said.

“We politely request that the people involved take these characters out of the gardens and donate them to orphanages where they can be enjoyed.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg  |  garden

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