Kimberley – For nine years, a life sized statue of Kimberley resident and South African icon Solomon Thekiso Plaatje, commissioned by the Northern Cape Heritage Authority, has been languishing in storage at the McGregor museum.

This after the initial mounting of the statue had to be halted due to objections from the Plaatje family over the way their ancestor was depicted with a clenched fist associated with the black power salute.

The statue was meant to be located in Bultfontein Street in Kimberley City Centre at the time, just opposite a statue of struggle icon Francis Baard.

The family, through the Sol Plaatje Trust, argued however, that the statue misrepresented Plaatje’s character, as there was no evidence of Plaatje ever giving the specific salute and it was changed to him carrying newspapers instead.

Now the statue is at the heart of a new wrangle after the Sol Plaatje University wrote to Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, requesting that the statue be donated to the institution. Read more