“The situation is deteriorating by the day, people are becoming more swept up by the emotion of events and communities are becoming dangerously polarized as a result,” said AfriForum deputy CEO Alana Bailey.
“The message has to be sent to the anarchists that their behaviour is unacceptable and will be punished in accordance with existing legislation, before irreversible damage is done to the South African cultural heritage, or the polarisation amongst communities leads to violence.”
Tshwane mayoral spokesman Blessing Manale said on Monday: “We can confirm that it [the monument] has been painted green.”
Tshwane Metro police officers were later deployed to the square in Pretoria’s CBD following the defacing.
Earlier, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it was responsible for defacing the statues, but has since retracted the statement.
Both the ANC Youth League and EFF previously called for the removal of the statue, describing Kruger as a colonial and apartheid figure.
AfriForum Youth national chairperson Henk Maree said members of the organisation had been ready early this morning to clean the Kruger monument.
AfriForum Youth then asked the Heritage Foundation for technical cleaning advice and were reassured the foundation would restore the statue properly, and that charges have been laid with the police against the vandals.
“AfriForum Youth’s members feel strongly about preserving our heritage and last night’s events are unacceptable to us,” Maree said.
#PaulKruger was a racist barbarian…he personally killed the Kekana Ndebele clan in the 1800s…
— Bee (@JusBOnline) April 6, 2015
— Robert Kruger (@Robertbuchankru) April 6, 2015
I wish my countrymen would stop destroying history. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." #PaulKruger
— Peter Pistorius (@Appfactory) April 6, 2015
I've said my piece regarding the removal of Paul Kruger's statue in Pretoria. He is one of my heroes and deserves as much respect as Madiba.
— Frank Botha (@FrankBothaCom) April 6, 2015
— LesetjaMO (@MoLesetja) April 6, 2015
In the Pretoria CBD @AkhonaKruger you ancestor Paul Kruger's statue is being vandalised… Your take? ????
— U G L Y (@AzileMaka) April 6, 2015
— Tau Tona™© (@DiketsoMoyo) April 6, 2015
There are four police cars now stationed in front of the #PaulKruger statue in Pretoria, highlighting a worry there will be unrest
— Stephanie Findlay (@SJFindlay) April 6, 2015
If Paul Kruger had to tell me where all that gold is buried, no one will know about it now.
— . (@tomorrowsplace) April 6, 2015