Photos: Rhodes to wreckage - statues targeted after UCT protests
The statue of Queen Victoria (1903) that stands in front of the library in Port Elizabeth was vandalized after British tabloid reported negatively on President Jacob Zuma ahead of his state visit to England. Image by: Gallo Images
Here is a round-up of the memorials that have been defaced in recent weeks.
CAPE TOWN – In March‚ University of Cape Town students threw faeces at the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the campus. The university’s senate later voted 181-1 to remove the statue‚ which has since been surrounded by plywood boards. The senate’s recommendations to have it removed and handed over to heritage officials are under discussion by UCT’s council this week.
DURBAN - King George V was spared the faeces‚ but a statue of him was splattered in white paint and plastered with placards demanding an end to white privilege at the University of KwaZulu-Natal towards the end of last month. A representative of the SA Students Congress says the defacing will continue until the statue is removed.
UITENHAGE – Three men believed to be Economic Freedom Front members‚ 'necklaced' the Anglo Boer War memorial in the town’s Market Square last week. The memorial‚ which depicts an old South African soldier‚ was erected in memory of volunteers from Uitenhage district during the war that lasted from 1899 to 1902. No arrests have yet been made.
PORT ELIZABETH – A statue of King George V’s grandmother‚ Queen Victoria‚ gets some unwanted attention when Khoi leaders demand the removal of the statue of her that is located in front of the city’s Main Library. The Khoi leaders‚ who want it replaced by one of their forgotten chiefs‚ David Stuurman‚ say they blame the British monarch for Stuurman being sent to Australia. Five years ago‚ the words “Goduka Europe” – which translates loosely in a local dialect as “Go back to Europe” were painted on the plinth of the statue a day after President Jacob Zuma slammed the UK media for viewing Africans as “barbaric”.
CAPE TOWN – At the weekend‚ a statue called “The Swordsman of the Nation” appeared – inexplicably - on Lion’s Head. The piece‚ which one Twitter user described as looking like a “Mini-Me of Zuma in Brett Murray’s controversial painting‚ ‘The Spear’ ”‚ had been destroyed by Monday morning.
PORT ELIZABETH - A group of about 30 suspected EFF members dismantled the Horse Memorial on Sunday. Police were quick to respond but only arrived at the scene after the statue‚ which was erected in memory of animals which died during the Boer War‚ was damaged. No arrests have been made. An EFF spokesman claims responsibility for the attack‚ saying “the toppling of colonial statues is part of EFF’s…rejection of the economic system that has been imposed on us by foreigner settlers”. One arrest was made‚ but the man was later released.
PRETORIA - Lime green paint was thrown on two of the four sentries around the statue of Paul Kruger in Church Square‚ with the statue of Kruger itself sustaining blobs of the bright paint‚ on Sunday afternoon. While the city’s mayor has added support for the call to remove Kruger’s statue‚ metro police were assigned to other venues like the Voortrekker Monument and the Union Buildings to thwart further acts of vandalism.