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Steve Hofmeyr, Sunette Bridges defend Paul Kruger statue

Hofmeyr says removal of statues of any historical figure would erase parts of South Africa’s history.

Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyer singing 'Die Stem' next to the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria on 8 April 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerein/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A crowd of people, including Afrikaans singers Steve Hofmeyr and Sunette Bridges, gathered in Church Square in Pretoria today to demand that statues representing the apartheid era be left alone.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been encouraging all South Africans to physically destroy colonial statues, including that of Paul Kruger.

On Sunday night, the Paul Kruger and the Burgher statues were splashed with green paint days after the party threatened to physically remove the monuments, prompting the Freedom Front Plus to open a criminal case.

Yesterday, the EFF admitted it was partially responsible for defacing the statues.

About 100 people gathered around the Paul Kruger statue today, holding up placards, with some reading 'hands off our heritage'.

Bridges addressed the crowd, saying the removal of the statues was purely racist and that all statues of the English and Afrikaners must remain where they are.

The crowd, led by Hofmeyr, also sang the apartheid era national anthem Die Stem.

Hofmeyr said the removal of statues of any historical figure would narrow down and erase parts of South Africa's history.

So far, statues of Cecil John Rhodes in Cape Town, King George in Durban, Queen Victoria in Port Elizabeth and now Paul Kruger in Pretoria have all been vandalised.

Last week, the African National Congress said it supported students who wanted to remove a statue of Rhodes as part of their attempts to transform universities.