It was built in 1965 in front of the current municipal building of the city to honor François, who was hailed as its founder.
From 1889 to 1894, Von François served as a senior officer in the German colony of South West Africa (current-day Namibia).
In 1892, he served as the commanding officer during the Hoornkrans Massacre, a campaign against the Nama people’s escalating uprising, in which at least 80 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed.
Before the statue was removed from its pedestal on Wednesday, local artists held rituals to reclaim the area. The petition to remove the statue was spearheaded by activist Hildegard Titus, who expressed her excitement to newsmen in Namibia.
She claimed that Von François was a representation of “colonial oppression” and that he had “wrongly been labeled the founder of Windhoek.”
The statue was taken down to cheers from the audience that had gathered to see the event. The statue will remain in the museum, but once a new location has been decided upon, it will be “re-erected,” according to Harold Akwenye, a spokesman for the city of Windhoek.
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