Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that the statue in the West Rand town was painted red and that a case of malicious damage to property was opened. He added that police did not know who was responsible for the latest incident in a spate of statues being vandalised around the country.
Just hours before the statue was defaced, Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at a media briefing in Cape Town said the destruction of statues was illegal and government would not turn a blind eye to any crime.
“These actions of vandalism are contrary to the principles of the Constitution and also constitute a criminal act,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
She added that there were a set of laws that regulate the removal and preservation of statues and monuments, pointing out the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999.
This is the second Kruger statue to be painted; the Kruger statue surrounded by four Boer Soldiers perched in the middle of Church Square in Tshwane was smeared with a lime green paint earlier in April. It has since also been stoned.
Both incidents relating to the statue in Church Square was allegedly executed by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), demanding that the statue be removed.
The first act of defacement on the Kruger statue prompted controversial Afrikaans singer Sunette Bridges to mobilise a protest against the removal of the Kruger statue.
Meanwhile, Johannesburg saw its first act of vandalism of a statue, over the weekend, after a sculpture of Mahatma Ghandi was smeared with white paint.
It has been reported that the statue which stands in the middle of Gandhi Square in the CBD was vandalised on Sunday.
A suspect was arrested after he was reportedly found with painted placards calling for the removal of the statue.
The catalyst for the defacing of statues, started when students from the University of Cape Town following vandalised the Cecil John Rhodes statue which stands on the university ground, demanding that the statue be removed.
The statue has since been taken away.