DA denounces “statue theme park” idea

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 23, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) National Spokesperson, Marius Redelinghuys, has described Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthetwa’s proposal of a theme park to house colonial area status as a “sideshow to distract from the ANC’s failure to deliver services and ensure broad-based transformation 21 years into democracy”.

Speaking in statement Redelinghuys said that the suggested “Statue Park of South African History” cannot be considered viable and that blaming a statue for lack of progress “makes a mockery of the cause of true transformation in our society”.

His response comes after the Minister yesterday stated that all colonial era and cultural monuments should be relocated to a theme park to safeguard their preservation following the defacing of 10 statues by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Uitenhage.

“We reiterate our position that our public spaces – memorials, monuments and statues – should be enhanced through the building of new statues, and the repurposing of existing ones to showcase our diverse history and aspirations for the future,” Redelinghuys said.

“This vision compels us to build, rather than destroy. It compels us to build a nation, mindful of its past, but committed to inclusion, equality, freedom and human dignity. It compels us to strive tirelessly for meaningful, broad-based and substantive transformation”.

He also stated that the removal of statues “does not facilitate a meaningful public dialogue” and that defacing them won’t reverse the country’s history.