19 July 2018

South Africa: Paul Kruger's Grave Vandalised in Pretoria

The Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge (FAK) has condemned the vandalism of the grave of Paul Kruger, who was once president of the former Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, or the Transvaal Republic.

FAK said Kruger's bust, installed at his grave in Heroes' Acre, Pretoria, suffered significant damage during the incident.

FAK's managing director Danie Langer said it was not the first time that Kruger's grave was damaged by vandals. It suffered a similar fate in 1995, he said.

In that instance, a marble statue was vandalised, causing significant damage to the rest of the grave structure, with the cracks still visible through the message written on it.

The marble statue was later replaced with the bronze statue that was damaged in the latest incident.

Langer condemned the targeting of Afrikaner heritage and described it as "worrying".

Call for support in grave's restoration

"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," he said.

"It places greater pressure on cultural organisations to intervene with limited funds themselves to restore and secure Afrikaners' historical legacy, such as the image and tombstone [of Paul Kruger]."

FAK, along with the Ou Presidensie Historiese Vereniging, is also responsible for preserving the gravesite of former president of the Orange Free State JH Brand in Bloemfontein.

Langer said a new fence was recently erected to preserve the gravesite in commemoration of the 130th anniversary of Brand's death.

He urged people to support FAK in its restoration of Kruger's grave.

He said more needed to be done to protect the graves in Heroes' Acre where other historical figures, such as Queen Victoria's grandson Prince Christian Victor, were buried, alongside Afrikaner figures including Jopie Fourie, Andries Pretorius, General Louis Botha, Afrikaans poet Eugène Marais; former prime ministers HF Verwoerd and JG Strijdom.

Source: News24

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