On Tuesday some of the Tshwane Metro Police were at the Church Square, where the bronze sculpture of Paul Kruger, the Boer political and military leader and President of the Republic of South Africa from 1883 to 1900, was spoiled with green paint again.
In April Paul Kruger’s statue was cleaned after it was spoiled with lime green paint. Since then, the statue has been protected inside by a high perimeter fence as it became one of the first to be targeted in a nationwide campaign against white rule. Nonetheless, a vast opening has been forced into the fence which was closed off on Tuesday afternoon by police officers.
Francois Cloete, the spokesperson for the right-wing party Front National, was assessing damage at the scene. He said it is a national annihilation once again against the statues of his people and he wants to know what is happening because Kruger’s statue is part of the Afrikaner tradition. He continued to say the metro police were not cooperating as he tried to speak to them but they did not want to talk to him.
“There has been on-going rumours that there will be another defacement again because of Paul Kruger’s birthday coming up on the 10th of October. On Saturday we have an event, commemorating his birthday, so this (defacement) might be linked to that,” said Cloete, adding that vandalism is an offense and it is off beam. He said if people don’t approve of Kruger’s statue they must tell him (Francois Cloete).
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gave the Tshwane municipality seven days to remove the Paul Kruger statue in April. At the time, EFF Tshwane chairperson, Benjamin Disoloane, said Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa should understand that Kruger’s statue was frustrating people on a daily basis.