Photos of two misshapen cement statues of a man and a woman are circulating on social media in South Africa with the claim that they show the late anti-apartheid activists Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Oliver Tambo – and cost taxpayers millions.
“These two statues of Oliver Tambo and Winnie Mandela cost more than R15 million of taxpayers money in Mpumalanga Province,” reads a typical caption.
Is this true? We checked.
‘The government has never put a cent in this place’
One Facebook user commented: “I know exactly where those statues are, and they don't even cost more than R1000. The team I work for, the chairman owns a club called raisibe gardens those statues are by the braai area.”
In another photo of the braai (barbecue) area, one of the statues can be seen just beyond it, at top left.
On 21 April the owner of Raisibe Gardens posted two videos dismissing the claims as “reckless”, in a “statement release following social media saga on Facebook and Twitter about our statues”.
“This statue doesn’t even look like Winnie,” he says of the statue claimed to show Madikizela-Mandela. He adds: “The government has never put a cent in this place. It’s my place.”
The statues are in the garden of a private guesthouse. There’s no evidence they cost R15 million, and no taxpayer money was spent on them.
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