Artwork depicting the old and new South African flags was removed from Durban’s Botanic Gardens yesterday after the city said it had received numerous complaints about it being offensive. Motshwari Mofokeng & Gcina Ndwalane/African News Agency(ANA)
Durban - A mural reflecting the country’s old and new flags at Durban’s Botanic Gardens has been removed after the municipality received complaints that it was offensive and provocative.

The work, which has been in the gardens for several years, was removed from a wall after the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) on Monday issued a statement calling for it to be removed within 48 hours “or we will mobilise young people to take it down.”

The league also demanded a public apology from the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust.

“The old flag belongs to the dustbin of history like the system of apartheid it represented,” said the statement from the ANCYL in eThekwini.

eThekwini Municipal Parks, Recreation and Culture head Thembinkosi Ngcobo yesterday said he gave an instruction for the work to be removed after receiving numerous complaints. He said municipal protocol was not followed when it was put up.

“When I investigated I was told that it was an initiative by the Botanic Gardens management, not Parks. They thought the art work showed transition from the old to the new era, but I told them that you must be careful when it comes to a flag since it is a national symbol and therefore it is better if they remove it,” said Ngcobo.

One of the employees said his team had received an instruction from the municipality remove it. “It was put up about 20 years ago for educational purposes with no intention to offend anyone,” said the employee, who did not want to be named.

The Mercury