STATUES EFFED Part 1: EFF set Uitenhage War Memorial alight

APRIL 3, 2015

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) reportedly set alight a war memorial statue in Uitenhage, outside of Port Elizabeth.

The statue, depicting a South African soldier, is a memorial linked to the Anglo Boer War, specifically honouring volunteers from Uitenhage who fought in the war between 1899 and 1902. The statue was covered with a burning tyre, leaving the Anglo Boer War soldier with black marks.

EFF leader Julius Malema reportedly encouraged members of his party to destroy all apartheid and colonial statues in the country – and the EFF Nelson Mandela Bay regional leaders are adamant that they will continue with their campaign of burning statues that reflects the painful apartheid past.

They accuse government of failing to remove these statues since 1994.

“This is an insult to us, we are tired of these statues, we want our leaders here, not leaders who are going to remind us of our past. We are going to continue with our campaign even if we must destroy them ourselves," EFF Regional Deputy Chairperson, Bo Madwara, told the SABC.

“As we wage the campaign for economic liberation, we said that economic liberation must be accompanied by the falling of these colonial statues and we would want to see them replaced by liberation hero statues.”

Uitenhage residents, however, condemned the EFF saying their action is not going to assist the country in promoting reconciliation. Instead, they accuse them of destroying history and have called on government to stop them.

Police say they are investigating a case of damage to property.