A protesting group donning ANC caps defaced a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi standing opposite to African National Congress (ANC)'s Johannesburg office in Gandhi Square, last Sunday.
The group of hooligans drove in a dark grey Renault hatchback and came out with tins of white paint, carrying placards that read "Racist Gandhi must fall." The protesters threw white paint on the bust and left.
They also defaced a nearby plaque that had detailed information about the contribution made by Gandhi in South Africa. One protester was caught by the police but was released on bail later.
This incident happened after the protester brought down the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the Cape Town University. His statue was removed from campus, after a month long student campaign to banish the white colonialist from the premises.
The local community laments that the defacing of Gandhi is an outcome of misjudgment. When the group of protesters alleged Gandhi to be a racist, it put him in the company of Rhodes and others who were at a dominant position in the colonial era. Gandhi, however, marked a new first as this was vandalism of a statue of a non-white person.
ANC has been trying to save its face and is evading the embarrassment by dubbing the entire episode as an unfortunate one. In an official statement, ANC have strongly highlighted Gandhi's contributions to South Africa. #Terrorism