Could ignorance about Paul Kruger be real?

Tshwane officials on Monday said it was still unclear who had defaced the historical statue of Paul Kruger at Church Square in the Pretoria city centre.

“No one has claimed responsibility for it,” said mayoral spokesperson Blessing Manale.

Kruger’s bronze statue was defaced with lime green paint on Sunday. Strangely, security cameras did not capture the vandals.

Manale said the mayor had been expecting to receive a petition from the African National Congress Youth League on Tuesday.

Displaying their ignorance or perhaps their paymasters, both the ANC Youth League and EFF have called for the removal of the statue, describing Kruger as a “colonial and apartheid figure”.

Kruger, an Afrikaner, served as president of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek in the late 1800s, well before the British introduced apartheid to exploit mining labour.

Kruger represents the ultimate resistance against British colonialism in Africa and was lauded by European governments in his day for his efforts.

Security tightened

Security had since been “tightened” at several points around the capital city which have historic statues.

“The city has decided to up security at the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, the City Hall and at the Union Buildings,” Manale declared.

The defacing of Kruger comes amid calls for historic statues to be removed from central areas.

Last week, the Economic Freedom Fighters [EFF] in the Nelson Mandela Bay region claimed responsibility for the torching of the War Memorial statue in Uitenhage’s Market Square.

“Unfortunately we could not topple the statue, as the police came and stopped us,” said deputy chairperson for the region, Bo Madwara.