Give elephant statue to IFP, says ANC
Durban - The ANC said it would not mind if one of the elephant sculptures that caused all the trouble in eThekwini were given to the IFP, the party said on Wednesday.
"If the IFP feels they want the sculptures they should consult the municipality. If the council does not have a problem with handing over the sculptures it's fine," said ANC secretary in the eThekwini region, Sibusiso Sibiya.
Mduduzi Nkosi, IFP caucus chairperson in the eThekwini Municipality, on Tuesday asked the municipality to give his party one of the city’s three elephant statues instead of destroying it.
The three elephant statues were to be placed at the city's Warwick Avenue interchange, and were designed to decorate the City of Durban at a cost of R1.5m.
ANC members in the municipal council however objected, seeing them as an IFP symbol.
"Our understanding is that the one elephant will be destroyed completely; which in our view will be a waste of resources and energy. Instead of destroying the elephant, the municipality should hand it to the IFP, since the animal was part of the party's logo.
"We are prepared to remove it from its current site to our offices in Ulundi at our cost, should we be allowed to have it."
Nkosi said he wrote a letter to municipal manager Mike Sutcliffe on October 15 urging him to give the sculpture to the party.
The move followed the eThekwini council's resolution on June 3 to use only one elephant, instead of the three already erected, and add four more animals to make "Big Five".
"We believe that acceptance of this request would be a humane gesture which would make a contribution to the on-going efforts at improving relations between the IFP and ANC."
Nkosi said following his letter, Sutcliffe had told him he was going to discuss the matter with the municipality’s speaker James Nxumalo.
Nxumalo said in June: "The matter was not handled properly. There was no consultation with the councillors before they were constructed."
The ANC wanted the interchange to have statues of the "Big Five" animals, not just elephants.
"This does not mean that we don't like elephants."
Ethekwini municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said the municipality cannot comment on the issue because it was under legal processes.
"The artists sent us legal papers on the matter of the elephants. We cannot discuss the matter at this point. We have noted the IFP's proposition," said Mofokeng.