The SABC reports that construction work for a monument of President Jacob Zuma is under way at the site where Zuma and other struggle comrades were arrested while trying to flee to Botswana.
The SABC quoted the EFF’s Alfred Motsi, an opposition leader in North West, as saying that he and his party remain committed to destroying the statue and that, in their view, most of the local people are against it.
“We have been opposing anything that has to do with Jacob Zuma … The whole monument is going to be destroyed,” he reportedly said.
“We will fight this at the legislature, on the streets and we will make sure that we are going to oppose this monument and we will destroy it.”
The statue will be erected in Groot Marico and is the brainchild of North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Mahumapelo is a member of the “Premier League” consisting of the provincial heads of Mpumalanga and Free State who are understood to support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid for the ANC presidency.
The North West government put the statue out to tender in February, which outraged the DA, who said this was the next Nkandla. There were initial reports that the statue could cost as much as R6 million, when in fact the statue is meant to be six metres tall.
DA provincial leader Joe McGluwa said earlier this year: “The six-metre tall bronze statue of Jacob Zuma, which I have called a monument to corruption and unemployment, will be the Nkandla of the North West. The statue will be a multimillion-rand splurge of public money, to exult and deify Jacob Zuma, taking money from the public and leaving the people poorer.
“A statue of Jacob Zuma in Gopane is just as useless to the people of Gopane as Nkandla is to the people of KwaZulu-Natal. A statue of Jacob Zuma will chase tourists away, not attract them.”
Mahumapelo responded at the time, saying no apology was needed and the building of the statue would go ahead.
He compared the statue to how Nelson Mandela’s arrest had been memorialised by the Nelson Mandela Capture Site artwork in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal.