Port Elizabeth - A war memorial statue in Uitenhage's Market Square was set alight on Thursday afternoon, Eastern Cape police said.
Warrant Officer Bazil Seekooi said three members of the community had placed a tyre over the statue and set it alight around 12:30.
"The men fled the scene when the police arrived and no arrests have yet been made," he said.
Seekooi said community members had claimed the men responsible were linked to the Economic Freedom Fighters, but said this had not been confirmed.
Police have opened a case of malicious damage to property.
The statue, depicting a South African soldier, is a memorial linked to the Anglo Boer War, specifically honouring volunteers from Uitenhage who fought in the war between 1899 and 1902.