PRETORIA – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it’s partially responsible for the defacing of statues in Church Square at the weekend.
On Sunday night, the Paul Kruger and the Burgher statues were splashed with green paint just days after the party threatened to physically remove the monuments.
So far, statues of Cecil John Rhodes in Cape Town, King George in Durban, Queen Victoria in Port Elizabeth and now Paul Kruger in Pretoria have all been vandalised.
Last week, the African national Congress (ANC) said it supported students who wanted to remove a statue of Rhodes as part of their attempts to transform universities.
The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) senate voted to remove the statue after a series of protests sparked debate around the country.
Students who had been protesting for three weeks said the statue represented racism and a lack of transformation at the institution.
The EFF says the timing was perfect as they celebrated the 36th anniversary of the execution of struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu and 363 years since the arrival of Jan van Riebeck in the Cape.
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they’re very proud of what has happened and this move was long overdue.
“They’ve taken green paint and painted over the statue of Paul Kruger. We’re aware that our branches were involved and we’re very proud of our branches in Tshwane because indeed it’s actually 21 years late.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng police were on high alert on Monday EFF supporters threaten to claim unoccupied land in Etwatwa on the East Rand.
The EFF declared Monday ‘national land occupation day’ in commemoration of Jan van Riebeek’s arrival in the Cape, in 1652.
EFF leaders say Etwatwa residents have agreed to claim vacant counsel land in the area.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)