PRETORIA – Leaked government documents revealed how the discovery of a rabbit in the ear of the bust of JG Strijdom lead to the collapse of the underground parking garage which destroyed the monument.
A massive sculptured head of Strijdom tumbled into a hole on 31 May 2001. The monument was virtually demolished. All that remained were sculptured horses on a plinth alongside the Strijdom head.
Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom, (commonly known as Hans Strydom) was Prime Minister of South Africa from 30 November 1954 to 24 August 1958.
Secret documents reveal that a carved rabbit was found in the ear of the Strijdom bust earlier that year, and that the Tswane municipality decided the offending rabbit should be removed. However, the covert operation to remove the rabbit was bungled up and the monument collapsed into the State Theatre parking situated below Strijdom Square (now known as Lillian Ngoyi Square).
Then-mayor Smangaliso Mkhatshwa was involved in the cover-up of the screw up. According to the documents it was felt that knowledge of the new ANC government’s involvement in the accidental demolition of the statue of an Apartheid statesman could sour already fragile race relations. A more sensitive explanation was needed.
Instead, the destruction of the monument was blamed on an act of God perpetrated specifically by God on the old Republic Day, the former holiday to celebrate Afrikaner independence from British rule in 1961, as a symbol of God’s hatred of the Afrikaner and the crime of Apartheid it committed against humanity.
The classified documents were leaked by a whistleblower concerned by the effect removing a rabbit from the ear of the effigy to Nelson Mandela will have on the iconic world leader’s 9-metre icon. “Who knows what will happen when they remove Madiba’s rabbit,” said the man who wished to remain anonymous. “Maybe the Union Buildings will fall onto Jacob Zuma.”
It is still unclear if government will go ahead with the planned forced removal of the rabbit from the ear of Mandela now that its record with tiny, bronzed Leporids has come to light. BN
While serving time and trying to fight the system from the inside, Barend learnt a thing or two about the law. He follows the law closely, from a distance, and the law follows him. Do not tell anyone that he’s out.