STATUES EFFED Part 3: “Mandela did not support destruction of monuments” - DA

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 7, 2015

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has descried the torching of a monument by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Uitenhage last week, as a form of “mindless criminality” that “reaffirms an ignorance of the past that does not serve the democratic project”.

A case of malicious damage to property was opened by police after 10 EFF members placed a petrol-laden tyre around the neck of the Anglo-Boer War Memorial the Market Square on Friday, before setting it alight. The incident came after a series of similar attacks on other colonial area statues following party leader, Julius Malema’s announcement last month, that all apartheid area symbols should be destroyed.

Speaking in a statement, DA National Spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme, said that the country’s history could not be erased and that the recent spike in the damaging of statues, would not be something supported by late former President Nelson Mandela.

“To place the blame for a lack of progress on statues, many over a century old, makes a mockery of the cause of true transformation in our society,” she said.

“President Mandela did not support the destruction of monuments, but rather the building of new ones, and the incorporation of existing monuments into an inclusive vision for the future of our society”.

Van Damme also stated that transformation should not be driven by anger and hate, and that the vision handed over by Mandela “challenges us to pursue a truly transformed, inclusive society based on reconciliation”.

“This inclusive vision can only be achieved through constructive dialogue that recognises the pain of our past, and a creative re-imagining of our public spaces and monuments. Of course it is easier to destroy than to build and create, but that is no excuse for mindless criminality”.

In the latest indicant, Port Elizabeth police arrested a 58-year old man, believed to have EFF links, following the vandalising of the Horse Memorial on the corner of Cape Road and Market Street yesterday. The statue, featuring a soldier holding a water bucket to horse, had been erected to remember the animals that died during the Boer War. The man has since been released on bail.

 

CAPTION: The destroyed House Memorial on the corner of Cape Road and Market Street in Port Elizabeth

 

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