Video of Queen Victoria statue vandal emerges

APRIL 11, 2015

A video showing the Queen Victoria statue vandal has emerged. Video footage from CCTV cameras near City Hall show that a man, apparently acting alone, was responsible for throwing green paint on the Queen Victoria statue in Nelson Mandela Bay. 

The CCTV footage reportedly shows a white male, believed to be in his 30s, climbing out of a vehicle just after 23:00 on Thursday. The man can then be seen approaching the statue of Queen Victoria and throwing paint at it.

The CCTV footage has reportedly been handed over to the police forensics team, who are processing it to try and identify the suspect.

On Friday, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality director of communications, Roland Williams, said the municipality was outraged at the blatant disregard for the rule of law and said that the statue would be cleaned by the municipality at a cost not exceeding R20 000.

The Queen Victoria statue is the latest historical monument to be vandalised after suspected Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members burnt the Anglo Boer War memorial in Uitenhage and toppled a soldier figure at the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth.

President Zuma joins debate

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma, who was in Boksburg for the unveiling of the Chris Hani Memorial on Friday, joined the debate over the removal of colonial statues, saying the process needed to be done according to the laws of the land.

“Destroying the statues also flies in the face of the preservation of the history of our country, including the repulsive apartheid colonial history,” Zuma said at the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of Chris Hani’s assassination in Boksburg.

“What is important is that everything must be done in an orderly fashion and according to the laws of the land.

“Future generations should know the people who colonised our country and those who introduced apartheid which was declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations, and treated the black majority as pariahs in the land of their birth,” he said.

“What we should discuss is, therefore, the location of these colonial and apartheid artefacts and we are happy that the debate has begun.”

Zuma on Friday declared Hani’s grave a heritage site. Zuma participated in a wreath laying ceremony along with family and representatives of the MKMVA, Sanco, Cosatu, SACP and the ANC. The president unveiled the Chris Hani Memorial Monument plaque before taking a tour of remembrance. He was accompanied by SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and Limpho Hani, Chris Hani’s widow.

“An important aspect of achieving true reconciliation includes building a new heritage landscape  for our new democratic society, based on our history of fighting for freedom, justice and equality,” Zuma said.

“Today [Friday] we have officially opened the Chris Hani Memorial, which will serve to educate generations of our people about his legacy and the struggle for freedom.”

Inclusive heritage

Zuma said there was an ongoing process to build a new inclusive heritage for our country.

He said historic sites, individuals and organisations that made a contribution during the liberation struggle had been identified for the upgrading and declaration of historic sites.

“Through the upgrading and declaration of these historic sites, we will ensure a more representative and inclusive South African history and heritage,” Zuma said.

“More importantly, this will also contribute towards shared values and a common national identity in the country.”