Eben Meets, a structural conservation specialist from the Heritage Foundation, anticipated the clean-up to take two days or more. Meets cleaned the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria after it had lime green paint splattered on it about two weeks ago.
“This is more costintensive,” Meets said. This was due to the lack of infrastructure at the Krugersdorp site. He predicted the Krugersdorp clean-up would cost about R40 000 – the same as the Pretoria statue clean-up.
According to Meets, the Krugersdorp community had been extremely supportive of the clean-up. Two women had offered to help with cleaning the statue, and brought cool drinks and snacks for Meets, his colleague and the police officers guarding the statues.
Police guards had been placed at the statues following their defacement. According to Mogale City municipality spokesperson Nkosana Zali, there was no security around the statues
before the vandalism as municipal policy does not allow officers to be stationed at areas where there are no guardhouses or bathroom facilities.
By yesterday afternoon, those facilities were not at the site.
“That’s not been budgeted for,” said Zali. “We did not know there was a reason to protect history with guns”.