Malema is a criminal - Sunette Bridges

2015-04-08 13:46
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GALLERY: Protesters chain themselves to Paul Kruger statue

Protesters have chained themselves to the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria in response to the defacing of the statue. View the pictures here.

Pretoria - Controversial Afrikaans singer Sunette Bridges told cheering supporters that EFF leader Julius Malema was a criminal for encouraging the vandalism of statues in the country.

"If I told my followers to deface Nelson Mandela's statues and there was as much as a spot of paint on them I would have been in prison," Bridges said on Wednesday.

Bridges was speaking at the foot of the statue of Paul Kruger in Church Square, Pretoria, during a protest against the vandalism of all statues in the country.

This followed the vandalism of two bronze sentries with green paint on Monday.

Yellow police tape cordoned off the area around the statue.

Bridges was heckled by some of the observers that were not participating in the protest, but she seemed unfazed.

"I have permission to be here and you don't. So you keep quiet or get your own gathering somewhere else," she said to the cheers of her following.

Protest and placards

The protest saw Afrikaner political parties including the Front Nasionaal Party, the Boer Vrou Liga and the Freedom Front Plus gathering in Church Square since 09:00.

Some of the protesters held placards reading "Hands off our heritage. This is genocide!"  and, "If colonial statues aren't safe. Are we?"

Sunette Bridges chains herself to Paul Kruger's statue. (Ockert de Villiers, News24)

"We are here against the absolute vandalism and destruction of statues, monuments and heritage," Bridges said on Wednesday morning.

"This first started when Jacob Zuma got onto a podium and said all the problems in this country started when Jan van Riebeeck landed in the country."

'Attack on Afrikaner heritage'

She said there was an unyielding attack on the Afrikaner's heritage and the minority group.

Bridges said more than 12 000 people had signed the petition.

The statue of Kruger and two bronze sentries in Pretoria was defaced with green paint on Monday.

The FF Plus laid charges against the EFF after the latter admitted to being behind the defacing of the statue.

Later on Wednesday morning, the four-colour flag of the old Transvaal was placed in the arm of one of the bronze sentries.

Steve Hofmeyr, another controversial Afrikaans singer was set to address the gathering at 13:00.

Read more on:    julius malema  |  sunette bridges  |  pretoria  |  monuments debate

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