The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Tshwane is calling on the Democratic Alliance (DA) to remove the statue at Paul Kruger Square on 23 Church Square.
The statue depicts Paul Kruger, the leader and former president of the South African Republic, who held office from 1883 to 1900.
Not everyone was in agreement, with one Twitter user saying: “Then what? After removing the statue, are we going to get jobs? Ngiyazibuzela nje”.
Another added: “I’m not against this but I think people want jobs, reduced electricity, and just an opportunity in life more than this. Let us tackle this thing afterwards.”
The netizen said “government has been changing names for more than 20 years but yet the people are still in poverty”.
EFF versus Paul Kruger
Back in 2015, the EFF accepted responsibility for defacing the Paul Kruger and the Burgher statues in Church Square. The party also threatened to physically remove the statues.
Following the vandalism, the Tshwane Metro encircled the statues with barbed wire
“When they look at this statue of Paul Kruger, it frustrates them. We are offering to remove the statue because the city doesn’t have the budget,” the EFF chairperson said.
Supporters gathered at the square said the statues represent racism and a lack of transformation, despite it being more than 20 years since the “fall” of apartheid.
Then in 2018, the EFF again said it would tear down the Paul Kruger statue and replace it with one of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Councillor Moaferika Mabogoane told the media at the time a statue of Madikizela-Mandela would be a fitting way to honour her legacy.
“It is a shame that these dark figures of our ugly past continue to haunt us as we walk and drive on our roads,” he said.
Last year, during the Black Lives Matter protests, the statue’s face and hands were covered with red paint and the word ‘killer’ was painted on it.
The fence built to protect the statue was damaged while the statues of the two Boer soldiers were also spray-painted.
Metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the cost to clean the statue was estimated at around R200,000. He called on residents to refrain from damaging public monuments.