Bust of teen activist, Valiamma Munuswami Mudaliar, destroyed - again

2019-06-03 16:07
The bust of Valiamina Munuswami Mudaliar, at Rose Park in Lenasia, which has been vandalised several times since being erected in 2015. (Image: Twitter)

The bust of Valiamina Munuswami Mudaliar, at Rose Park in Lenasia, which has been vandalised several times since being erected in 2015. (Image: Twitter)

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The bust of teenage activist Valiamma Munuswami Mudaliar in Rose Park, Lenasia, has been destroyed - again.

Mudaliar was a teenager in 1913 when she joined her mother and other women as they marched from what was then known as Natal to Transvaal. At the time, it was against the law for her to cross the border.

The marches formed part of the Mahatma Gandhi passive resistance movement, a form of non-violent protest against the oppressive laws and policies in South Africa during the early 1900s.

Mudaliar was arrested and sentenced to three months in prison and hard labour when she was only 16 years old.  It was reported that she died of fever, shortly after she was released from prison.

On Saturday, the bust of Mudaliar, which was erected in 2015, was found destroyed.

Nadas Pillay, the former president of the Tamil Federation of Gauteng, who was responsible for conceptualising the idea of the bust, confirmed to News24 that it had been vandalised.

Pillay said that a case had previously been opened with police after one of the incidents, but to date, no one has been arrested.

He added that he was not aware of a reason why someone would continuously target the bust.

The executive director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Neeshan Balton, took to Twitter to condemn the destruction of the bust.

"This wanton act of destruction of our liberation heritage must be condemned by all," Balton said in a tweet.

Every time the bust has been vandalised, the community of Lenasia have contributed to its replacement, Pillay said.

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