Tributes laid at vandalised horse memorial

Port Elizabeth - Residents from Nelson Mandela Bay turned out on Wednesday morning to tend to the horse that has lost its minder at the Horse Memorial in Russel Road, Port Elizabeth.

On Tuesday, the soldier who had been watching over and caring for his horse since 1905, was taken to a place of safe keeping by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, after being vandalised by EFF members on Monday.  

The initiative was sparked by the East Cape Horse Care Unit’s Megan Hope, whose non-profit organisation has looked after horses and donkeys in the Nelson Mandela Bay township areas since 2006.

“When I saw the images of the vandalised horse memorial I burst into tears. I posted it up on my Facebook page and asked if anyone would like to join me in putting flowers at the site, and it just grew from there,” said Hope.

Hope said that the memorial had a special place in her heart as it was one of the few memorials erected in memory of horses that had died in conflict.

Many residents turned up at the memorial, with some laying flowers, while others picked up litter strewn around.  

“We are here to make sure that the horse is looked after until his minder can be returned,” she said. 

Local equestrian, Tanja Radke, brought a bucket to the memorial, which was then placed in front of the horse statue to replace the bucket held up for him by the soldier.

EFF vows to throw the next statue into the sea

EFF deputy chairperson for the Nelson Mandela Bay region, Bo Madwara, has lambasted the municipality for wanting to repair the memorial.

“We have observed yesterday how police escorted municipal and private sector trucks used to hide the fallen colonial soldier, as part of the municipality’s commitment to restoring it back, after repairing it,” said Madwara.

Madwara said the EFF viewed this as a further insult to the agenda of development and upliftment of poor communities. 

“The hundreds of thousands of rands wasted on the process aimed at putting back a colonial soldier in a public space, should rather be used for activities that could restore the dignity of the previously disadvantaged,” he said.

“This serves to confirm our long held view that the ANC government is totally clueless on what to do to bring about real peace and meaningful freedom for all South Africans,” he said. 

“As the EFF we will be doing the government a favour. In our next contact with a statue or monument, we are going to load it onto a bakkie and go unload it into the sea,” he said.

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