Willem Boshoff
Spoiled Vote


floor piece, an uprooted signpost showing Kitchener Ave, King Edward St, Verwoerdlaan and Paul Krugerstr

steel, paint, concrete, suspended from the ceiling

'The sign on the corner of my street was felled onto the pavement by a careless driver and, lying down, the crossing-over of the two plates carrying the names Kitchener Ave and King Edward Street resembled a voter's cross. The street sign was spoiled and fit for the refuse dump. Voters exercising exclusive voting rights in the twentieth century in South Africa were likewise ironically spoilt by their privileges over the majority of people. To be spoiled can mean to be defaced and destroyed as much as getting too much of a good thing - to fall in the lap of luxury. My uprooted signpost, exhibited horizontally, shows the unlikely combination of British and Afrikaans personages who have featured in South African history: Kitchener Ave, King Edward St, Verwoerdlaan and Paul Krugerstr.

In one of my old scrap-books I have an article and picture of the statue of Dr HF Verwoerd being lowered into a prominent place at the then Orange Free State provincial head-quarters. The statue is shrouded in cloth and the date is 16 May 1969. Another statue from my scrap-books, hotly debated by the press since 1967, is that of Paul Kruger, proposed by Coert Steynberg and ultimately installed by him at the Pretoriuskop entrance to the Kruger National Park. The Verwoerd statue was uprooted a few years ago by hydraulic cranes and a big debate is at present raging as to whether the head of Paul Kruger should also be removed from its place. Many streets, dams, suburbs, cities and even provinces are being renamed.'
Willem Boshoff

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.