Protesters form human barricade around 'Oom Paul'

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A group of protesters have come out in defence of the Paul Kruger statue in Church Square, Pretoria on April 8, 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - Afrikaans singer Sunette Bridges is among those threatening to chain themselves to the Paul Kruger statue in Pretoria&39;s Church Square.

Bridges is part of a group of protesters that has formed a human barricade around the statue, some of who carried the old Transvaal Republic flag, the Vierkleur.

The group has handed over a memorandum to the City of Tshwane, demanding that all heritage symbols be protected.

A copy has also been sent to President Jacob Zuma’s office.

"The calls for the removal of the Kruger statue is a direct, racist and vengeful attack on the culture and history of the Afrikaans people," the memorandum reads.

It also states that the removal of the General JBM Hertzog statue from the Union Buildings took place “without a proper process of consultation with the cultural group involved and is still a sensitive issue”.

The statue was replaced by one of former President Nelson Mandela.

Bridges addressed the crowd and called the vandalising of heritage symbols – like the Kruger statue – a human rights violation.

Onlookers in the square yelled at Bridges not to mention or criticize the ANC, as the EFF was responsible for painting the statue green.

Police have also been deployed at the scene in large numbers.

 

Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr is expected to join supporters at the square later today.

The Front National Party supported the protest, saying that they wanted to call "all like-minded individuals and groups to resist an further acts of vandalism" or removal of national heritage symbols. 

The statue was vandalised this weekend by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters who poured green paint over Kruger&39;s likeness. 

Jacaranda News reported that police were called in to monitor the protest in Church Square. 

- Additional reporting News24