PODCAST | THE STORY: Will removing statues representing oppression remedy ills of the past?

  • Statues all across the world are making headlines - some being vandalised, others torn down.
  • There is a legitimacy to the anger about statues.
  • This week on The Story, we contemplate whether statues of individuals, who represent oppression, still have a place in modern society.


Statues across the world are being torn down or vandalised in response to legitimate anger about racism and historical oppression.

Last weekend, the statue of Boer Republic President Marthinus Theunis Steyn was removed from the campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) after years of protest and deliberation. 

UFS management said the removal occurred as they were granted a permit by the Permit Committee of the Free State Provincial Heritage Resources Authority (FSPHRA) to dismantle it in mid-June. 

What is to become of the many remaining statues of historical figures from past eras in South Africa's fraught history?

And will removing it remedy the ills of the past?

In this episode of The Story, we speak to James de Villiers, in-depth and profile writer at News24, who wrote an explainer article in the lead up to the removal of the statue of Steyn.

We're also joined by News24's Assistant Editor for in-depth news, Pieter du Toit, who in a recent op-ed asked whether Paul Kruger should still be honoured in Church Square. 

You can listen to the episode on Spotify and SoundCloud.

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