Cape Town – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called on South Africans to break the law and destroy all apartheid-era symbols, including the statue of former prime minister Louis Botha outside Parliament.
According to the Sunday Independent, Malema has also challenged people to destroy the Cecil John Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town.
Malema meanwhile reportedly says he is not worried about being arrested for inciting public violence because he does not respect a “rotten government”.
The controversial leader challenged people to destroy the symbols while addressing a crowd in Langa in Cape Town on Saturday at a rally to mark Human Right’s Day.
Malema lays down challenge
Malema told the cheering crowd that he was challenging them to remove the Rhodes statue.
“I’m challenging you. I’m challenging you. Revolution is not a legal activity. You must stop listening to this (sic) things like. This is illegal. There’s nothing like that,” he said.
“I’m challenging you, the fighters of Western Cape, that statue of Louis Botha at Parliament, it must go down …… how it goes down, I’m not interested …. make a plan for that statue.”
Earlier this month students at UCT tossed faeces at the statue of Cecil John Rhodes located at the foot of the Jameson Steps, and argued that it should be destroyed because it reminds them of Rhodes’ racist past.
Dr Max Price, UCT’s vice chancellor, asked the university’s council to convene an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the statue.
Last week he said his personal opinion was that the statue should not be destroyed but should be moved to a different place at the campus.
‘Rhodes was clearly racist’
Currently, he said, the statue is displayed in a prominent position, which gives the impression that Rhodes was a hero and that the institution admired him.
“We actually don’t,” he said. “The statue was erected to honour him and to show appreciation because he actually gave us the piece of land where this institution is. At that time he was thought to have been a great leader, but now …
“He saw it as his mission to extend the British Empire and civilise people in Africa. But today, we can say that he was clearly racist. He didn’t hesitate to kill people. So people feel that symbols like these remind them of conquests and how their land was stolen and how they were oppressed.”