Authorities in Namibia have removed the statue of a German colonial officer regarded as the founder of the African nation’s capital city of Windhoek. According to BBC, the statue of Curt von François was ultimately taken down after an effective petition.
The honorary statue of von François was mounted in 1965. And prior to its removal, it stood around the area where the city’s current municipal building is situated. Namibia, which was formerly known as South West Africa, was a German colony. And between 1889 and 1894, von François served as a senior officer in the colony. von François was also the commanding officer when at least 80 people were killed during the 1893 Hoornkrans Massacre.
The operation by the German colonial administration was launched to clamp down on the rebellion by the indigenous Nama people. Most of the people killed in the massacre were women and children. Local artists carried out rituals to re-possess the land where the statue was situated before workers moved to remove it. The petition calling for the removal of the statue was spearheaded by a local activist named Hildegard Titus. In an interview with The Namibian, Titus said she was “very excited” about the removal of the statue.
Titus, who also labeled von François as a representation of “colonial oppression”, said the German colonial officer had “wrongly been called the founder of Windhoek.” The event to commemorate the removal of the statue was witnessed by a crowd that also cheered on as it was taken down. A spokesperson for the city of Windhoek said that though the statue will be stored at a museum, it will ultimately be “re-erected” at a location that is yet to be determined.
DOWN WITH THE LIE: Alderman Job Amupanda says the statue of Curt von François represented a lie. The removal of the statue has begun. UPDATE: JEMIMA BEUKES pic.twitter.com/C4mkMr5vOA— Namibian Sun (@namibiansun) November 23, 2022