Victory for #RhodesMustFall activists

By Drum Digital
09 April 2015

After nearly a month of protesting, sit-ins and relentless meetings, the statue of Cecil John Rhodes will finally be removed, University of Cape Town.

After nearly a month of protesting, sit-ins and relentless meetings, the statue of Cecil John Rhodes will finally be removed, University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice Chancellor Max Price announced on Wednesday evening.

The Rhodes Must Fall debate gained momentum in March after UCT students threw faeces on the statue, situated on UCT’s upper campus, protesting against colonial dominance.

On Wednesday evening students gathered at UCT awaiting the university council's ruling on whether the statue would remain or be removed.

After a nearly two-hour delay the council announced that the statue would be removed on Thursday.

The delayed had angered protesting students, who started hitting bins and banging on doors. Students even blocked council members from leaving the meeting as they wanted the matter resolved.

After the announcement calm was restored and council members were allowed to leave, Price held a brief press conference announcing the council’s decision.

“Today an important day…” Price started off.

“We're at another turning point. It doesn't look like a time of crisis at university to me.”

He said: “We've seen a committed student body… and venues were packed with people who care about university.”

Price said the engagement should be celebrated as it was an important moment in history for the university.

“We witnessed makings of what university can be,” Price said.

He said the council voted unanimously in favour of statue's removal.

UCT student representative council president, Ramabina Mahopa, also addressed the media.

He said: “We are they're happy with decision, but there is still a long road ahead.”

Mahopa said it was not just about the statue itself but institutional symbolism.

“Who's teaching and being taught.”

According to Reuters the state would be removed temporarily, pending an application to the Western Cape Heritage for its permanent removal.

The Cecil John Rhodes statue will be removed at 17:00 on Thursday.

News24

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