The grave of Paul Kruger, the president of what used to be the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, or the Transvaal Republic, was vandalised on Thursday.
A bust of the Afrikaner leader near the grave was also damaged during the incident.
It was reported that the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (FAK) condemned the incident.
“Despite the Department of Arts and Culture’s view that statues and monuments should not be damaged, the political will to stop the vandalism of Afrikaner heritage remains lacking,” the FAK said.
According to the FAK’s managing director, Danie Langer, Kruger’s grave has been vandalised before, in 1995.
A marble statue was damaged in an incident that also caused significant damage to the rest of the grave, with the cracks still visible today. The marble statue was replaced by the bronze one that was vandalised in this latest incident.
When the marble statue was vandalised, it caused significant damage to the rest of the grave structure, with the cracks still visible through the message written on it.
An Afrikaans, one white Twitter user calling himself Nicolaas J Prinsloo said the incident was an indication of “what’s happening to the Afrikaner History”.
Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic 1883 – 1900. Buried in Heroes Acre Cemetery 1904. His grave site was vandalized, leaving extensive damage to the tomb monument. This is what's happening to the Afrikaner History. pic.twitter.com/gTNy6WCMNy
— Nicolaas J Prinsloo (@NJPrinsloo1) July 18, 2018
This contrasts with the thoughts of a black user who called Kruger a “nonsense parasite” and said that “those who vandalised the grave must soldier on towards Verwoerd’s grave”.
Who the hell is paul kruger? Was that nonsense parasite in the struggle too? Stop mentioning that demonic name please, we're still celebrating Nelson Mandela's birthday. Write more about Mandela and those who vandalized the grave must soldier on towards verwoed's grave. pic.twitter.com/dttZXcNgau
— The Provider_OkaDlangamandla (@SethuOkamamntu) July 19, 2018
An Afrikaans woman tweeted about it with the hashtag #LawlessSouthAfrica; a black woman said “Paul Kruger had a grave while our people were buried in a mass grave”.
Paul kruger has a grave while our ppl were buried in a mass grave, tsek! https://t.co/Ckbb1snm0k
— 14 November ❤️ (@MolokommeJoane) July 19, 2018
One Afrikaans man simply asked why anyone would vandalise the grave.
Why vandilise PAUL KRUGER grave
— Henry Kruger 1965 (@henryjohnkruger) July 20, 2018
Another user, seemingly an Afrikaans woman, said: “I suppose we can’t expect respect for the dead when there is no respect for life.”
— Tertia #TeamSteve ❎ (@Net_Tertia) July 18, 2018
As with many issues in South Africa, whether Kruger is seen as a great leader or an oppressor depends on who you are and where you stand politically.