Call by EFF to replace Paul Kruger statue with one of Winnie
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Pretoria - The EFF in Tshwane has again called for Paul Kruger's statue on Church Square to be demolished and replaced by one representing the late political icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The renewed call was made almost three months after the party threatened to topple the statue.
Their councillor Moaferika Mabogoane said the move would be a befitting way to honour the legacy of Madikizela-Mandela, who died last month.
He described Madikizela-Mandela as a gallant fighter, who deserved to have some of the Pretoria streets renamed after her.
He scoffed at the decision to still have some streets bearing the names of apartheid leaders such as John Vorster, Hendrik Verwoerd and Paul Kruger, saying it was "unpleasant".
According to him, the street names must not be associated with "racist apartheid leaders".
"It is a shame that these dark figures of our ugly past continue to haunt us as we walk and drive on our roads," he said.
Mabogoane said there was a national mandate to all the EFF branches to remove all the apartheid statues and symbols.
He said the EFF wanted Madikizela-Mandela's statue to be put up at the historic square to replace Paul Kruger.
It was not for the first time the EFF took a stance against Kruger's monumental statue - Mabogoane reiterated the same call during the January council sitting.
He then wanted to know if the statue would be excluded from the redevelopment of the square or not.
The motion by the EFF in council for the statue to be excluded from the Lalela Freedom of Expression Monument was supported by other political parties.
At the time the EFF proposed that the statue should not form part of Lalela because the apartheid leader represented “a history which is in stark contrast to the values that the monument seeks to promote”.
The ANC rejected the motion, citing that it would be “against the party policies on statues and heritage”.
The Lalela Freedom of Expression Monument was announced by mayor Solly Msimanga as going to transform the square into an open-air entertainment area and bring about vibrancy in public activities in the inner city.
On the other hand, the South African Geographic Names Council had said the brass statue of Kruger and his burghers would not be toppled.
Instead, the council suggested that the statue of Kgosi Mampuru II, after whom the prison in Pretoria is named, should be built at the square.