EFF claims responsibility for defacing Paul Kruger statue

2015-04-06 13:11
The Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria, was defaced with green paint. (Theana Breugem, Netwerk24)

The Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria, was defaced with green paint. (Theana Breugem, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] on Monday claimed responsibility for the defacing of Paul Kruger's statue in Pretoria.

"Yes, the EFF in Tshwane has taken responsibility for [it]," said party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

"The EFF in Tshwane has long launched a campaign where it has demonstrated, calling on the city to remove the statue with immediate effect and substitute it with a different statue or monument," Ndlozi said.

Kruger's bronze statue in Church Square in Pretoria had blobs of lime green paint splashed over it on Sunday.

Security tightened

Mayoral spokesperson Blessing Manale said security had since been tightened at several points around the capital city which have historic statues.

"The city has decided to up security at the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, the City Hall and at the Union Buildings," Manale said.

The defacing of Kruger comes amid calls for historic statues to be removed from central areas.

Last month, EFF leader, Julius Malema reportedly told EFF members in Langa, Cape Town that South Africans should tear down symbols which reminded them of apartheid, including the statue of former prime minister Louis Botha outside Parliament.

Last week, the EFF in the Nelson Mandela Bay region adhered to Malema's call and torched the War Memorial statue in Uitenhage’s Market Square.

“Unfortunately we could not topple the statue, as the police came and stopped us,” said deputy chairperson for the region, Bo Madwara.

He said the Uitenhage war memorial was just the tip of the iceberg.

“The EFF has a programme in Nelson Mandela Bay that will seek to destroy all colonial statues that have been identified,” he said.

Rhodes protest

Calls for historical statues to be uprooted first sparked at the University of Cape last month, with students calling for the Cecil John Rhodes statue to be toppled.

After weeks of intense protests, the UCT senate voted in favour of the removal of the statue.

Ndlozi said on April 6, 1652 Jan van Riebeeck arrived on South African soil. The apartheid government chose to hang freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu on the day 36 years ago after it convicted him of murder.

In a statement commemorating Mahlangu, Ndlozi also called for the topping of Van Riebeeck's statue.

Read more on:    eff  |  pretoria  |  monuments debate

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