Activists deface Louis Botha statue outside Parliament

It's the latest in a string of statues to be targeted by activists calling for the end of colonial statues.

The Louis Botha statue in Cape Town. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A statue of Louis Botha in front of Parliament has been smeared with red and purple paint.

It is the latest in a string of statues to be targeted by activists calling for the removal of apartheid and colonial era statues.

The Louis Botha statue in Cape Town has been defaced. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

The movement began when students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) threw human faeces at a statue of Cecil John Rhodes on their campus several weeks ago and demanded that the monument be removed.A decision by UCT's council to remove the statue is a win for students who have been protesting for weeks.

Like-minded activists are now targeting statues of colonial era and apartheid era figures all over the country.

Two war memorial statues in the Eastern Cape, a statue of Paul Kruger and the four Burghers in Pretoria have been defaced.

WATCH: Paul Kruger and the Burghers statues splashed with green paint

A debate on whether these statues should be commemorated in public spaces or be relegated to museums has elicited strong emotion from both sides of the spectrum.

Now, with the latest act of vandalism on the doorstep of the national legislature, this debate is begging to be heard in Parliament too.


Amid mixed emotions, preparations are in place to remove the Rhodes on Thursday.

Already strapped in and hoisted to a crane on campus, the statue will be toppled at 5pm.

A group of students and staff gathered on the Jameson steps to witness what has become a momentous occasion.

While some say removing the statue may be a step to address grievances over the slow pace of transformation, others say they are disappointed.