Statues are not about black, white - PE resident

2015-04-13 15:47
(Praga Silva via Twitter)

(Praga Silva via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Passers-by have condemned the vandalism of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Johannesburg's Gandhi Square over the weekend, as the alleged culprit was released on bail on Monday.

Molefe Maile, 21, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for malicious damage to property and would return on May 8, said police spokesperson Kay Makhubela.

He was released on R5 000 bail.

'Ghandi statue must go'

Maile was arrested on Saturday afternoon after a police car drove past and saw him with white paint.

“He was found while painting the statue with a five litre paint [bucket] and also there were some boards, on which he wrote ‘Gandhi statue must go’,” he said.

The plaques at the front and sides of the statue were covered with white paint.

The back of the statue was also covered, while the plaque explaining why the square was named after the Indian leader and philosopher also received a good coating.

The plaque to the statue's left read: "I learnt during all those years to love Johannesburg even though it was a mining camp.

"It was in Johannesburg that I found my most precious friends. It was in Johannesburg that the foundation for the great struggle of Passive Resistance was laid in the September of 1906."

Curious people were coming to the square to take photos of the vandalised statue, while some debated the raging issue.

Political education

"A lack of knowledge puts us off and this is an indication of humanity not having a good sense of knowledge," said Alistair, who did not want to reveal his surname.

"There is no black and white, just one human race that needs its head screwed on right."

He said people should hold the ruling class accountable, instead of showing their frustration with paint.

Hendry Molefe said there was a need for political education.

"Leaders need to educate people about the statues. The statues aren't graves, but a remembrance of what they have done, whether it was an oppressor or a good person," Hendry said.

"We are all South African, no matter if we are black, white, Indian or coloured."

Read more on:    mahatma gandhi  |  johannesburg  |  monuments debate

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