HALT THE DESTRUCTION BY THE eTHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY OF THE THREE ELEPHANT SCULPTURE
The eThekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa) has stopped work on the Three Elephant installation it contracted sculptor Andries Botha to do based on the political interpretation of this work by the local African National Congress . This action is a marked departure from the freedoms that the citizens of the Republic of South Africa have afforded artists to express themselves without fear of political interference.
Section 16 of the Bill of Rights (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa) states that:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes
a) freedom of the press and other media;
b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
c) freedom of artistic creativity; and
d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.
The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in the country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights in the Bill of Rights.
We call upon the eThekwini Municipality:
• To enable the artist, Andries Botha, to complete the three Elephant Sculptural installation as it contracted him to do so in the Warwick Junction Viaduct.
• To reverse its decision to destroy the existing work and replace this work with an installation of the “Big Five”.