By Frederick Philander
“Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures and destroys it”.
This is the view of the chairperson of PACON, Johannes Tjitjo, in a press release.
“We all know that, to drive home its sharp nail of colonialism, the colonialists used symbols, statues, flags, art and drawings to gospel the colonised and forever remind them that the master is here to stay. In the same fashion, the nationalist state should engage the same methods to disentangle that colonial disfiguration,” he said.
According to Tjitjo some kind of conscious efforts must be done to slowly, but surely remove all the remnants of the colonial past in favour of our new political dispensation.
“To this effect, the removal of the Rider is long overdue and a move in the right direction. It is important to note that such colonial statues should not be destroyed, but preserved for future generations and posterity. The Rider, magnificent as it may look, artistic as it may seem, is a replica and reminder of a bitter colonial past in the most intimidating manner to the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of the Brave,” he said.
PACON urges the authorities to also remove the Kurt von Francois statue in the same manner.
“We do not have the same statues anywhere in Europe of our people and leaders! The time for re-writing the distorted and twisted history of our country is now. We have to revisit the names of our rivers, the names of our towns and villages, the names of our cities, the names of our roads and those of our bridges, are they in conformity with what we fought for? Are they there to restore the humiliated dignity of our people? Whatever name or statue we keep, it should be for a reason well explained, understood and accepted by our people,” he said.