The statue is the second in the province to be damaged in the last week, after the War Memorial statue in Uitenhage’s Market Square was set alight on Thursday.
EFF deputy chairperson for the Nelson Mandela Bay region, Bo Madwara, later confirmed that the local chapter was behind the setting alight of the Uitenhage statue.
“Unfortunately we could not topple the statue, as the police came and stopped us,” he said at the time.
Madwara said the Uitenhage war memorial was just the tip of the iceberg.
“The EFF has a programme in Nelson Mandela Bay that will seek to destroy all colonial statues that have been identified,” he said.
Another statue, that of Paul Kruger in Pretoria’s Church Square, was defaced with blobs of lime green paint on Sunday, with the Economic Freedom Fighters claiming responsibility.
Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party’s members in Tshwane were responsible for defacing the statue of Kruger.
“Yes, the EFF in Tshwane has taken responsibility for it,” said Ndlozi.
“The EFF in Tshwane has long launched a campaign where it has demonstrated, calling on the city to remove the statue with immediate effect and substitute it with a different statue or monument.”
Moafrika Mabongwana, EFF deputy chairperson in Tshwane, confirmed that the party’s Tshwane members were responsible. He told reporters earlier on Monday that the EFF was not responsible, but later changed tack.
“We went back and spoke to the members and found out that they were actually involved,” said Mabongwana.
“I was not aware at the time that they were involved when I spoke to the other media. We congratulate them for the action they have taken.”
He said the EFF would stand by their members even if they faced legal action.
Spokesperson for Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Blessing Manale, said security guards had been posted around the Kruger statue.
“We want to pursue criminal prosecution. We are considering cordoning the statue off and we will have it cleaned up tomorrow,” Manale said.
“The mayor is on holiday. He returns Tuesday and will head to the scene to see for himself.”
In Cape Town this weekend, a small statue resembling President Jacob Zuma was erected on Lion’s Head, but later cut in half.
City Press reported that the statue, which depicts a short, fat, naked man, had a large pink sex toy in its hand, evoked the controversy around artist Brett Murray’s painting, The Spear.
The debate was sparked by protests that began at the University of Cape Town on March 9 about the presence of a statue of Cecil John Rhodes on campus. After weeks of protests, the senate voted in favour of the removal of the statue.