MK veteran Nokuthula Simelane's statue vandalised

2015-04-17 13:29
A screen grab of the Nokuthula Simelane statue after it was vandalised. (YouTube)

A screen grab of the Nokuthula Simelane statue after it was vandalised. (YouTube)

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Mbombela - The R2,3m statue of Umkhonto we Sizwe member Nokuthula Simelane has joined the ranks of public sculptures that have been defaced.

The statue of the missing freedom fighter, which was unveiled at the Bethal Cultural Precinct on 28 November 2009, was spray-painted on the chin and torso on Tuesday night.

"We can confirm that the statue of Nokuthula Simelane was painted at the memorial centre in Bethal. Police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property and we are appealing to anyone who has information to come forward and help the police arrest the suspects," said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe on Thursday.

It is not the first time that Simelane's statue has been spray-painted.

In 2011, Simelane's statue was vandalised and stolen by Corné Marais van Tonder, now aged 26, from Bethal.

In 2008, the bronze statue of struggle hero Gert Sibande was also vandalised just a week after being unveiled at the Nomoya Masilela museum.

The statue was spray-painted across the torso.

Sibande initiated nationwide potato boycotts 54 years ago in protest against the treatment of farm workers on potato farms in the area.

Simelane was abducted in Johannesburg in the 1980s.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was never able to solve the mystery around Simelane's disappearance, despite hearing evidence about how she was abducted by the Soweto Intelligence Unit on 10 September 1983 and driven to police living quarters in Norwood, where she was tortured before being moved to a farm in the Thabazimbi area.

Below is a news report by SABC News on the statue.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  monuments debate  |  crime

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