EFF wants statues removed in PMB

2015-05-06 06:00
PHOTOS: nqobile mtolo

Statue of Queen Victoria.

PHOTOS: nqobile mtolo Statue of Queen Victoria.

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WITH Pietermaritzburg as the historical tourist attraction, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wants the statues of Queen Victoria, Sir Theophilus Shepstone and Mahatma Gandhi removed.

However, EFF’s provincial spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said the party is split into two on the issue. He said that although the removal of colonial and apartheid-era statues is not part of its manifesto, he said that the three statues should be replaced with South Africans who fought for the freedom of South Africa.

“The removal of the statues is the opportunist moment because it is not part of our party’s manifesto. We do not support the statues of oppressors. We would like to see them removed and taken away. These statues do not provide a solution in solving the poverty in South Africa. The removal of statues is not that much of a priority however, they should be removed.

“However, we believe that there are more pressing issues such as poverty and education facing South Africa and those should be prioritised. Now that the removal of colonial statues is a national debate, we will speak to our two provincial legislature representatives on how this can be achieved. We will also approach the Heritage Council on this matter,” said Ngcobo.

Ngcobo said that the uMgungundlovu district is rich in history and that the people whose statues should be erected include anti-apartheid stalwarts Harry Gwala and Moses Mabhida.

“There are many other people from different races who contributed towards the South African democracy. The focus should be on South Africans who fought for our freedom. There are other political parties who support the notion that the colonial and apartheid-era statues should be removed,” said Ngcobo.

Amafa-Heritage KwaZulu-Natal is the provincial heritage agency which administers heritage matters on behalf of the KZN Provincial government.

Amafa’s Ros Devereaux said the removal of statues is a public process which also involves a public participation process and that after an application has been made for the removal of a relevant statue or statues, Amafa council will look at the pros and cons of such actions.

The statue of Queen Victoria and Sir Theophilus Shepstone are at the vicinity of the KZN Legislature building while that of Mahatma Gandhi is in Church Street

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