Rhodes's grave in Zimbabwe under threat - report

2015-03-24 11:49

Cape Town – Cecil John Rhodes's grave in Zimbabwe is reportedly under threat after ruling Zanu-PF activists in the country’s second largest city Bulawayo vowed to force its removal from its place in Matopo Hills.

This comes as University of Cape Town students are demanding to have Rhodes's statue at the campus removed because of its "historic and strategic significance".

Rhodes, 1853-1902, was a British colonialist, businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. He founded Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) which was named after him in 1895.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Zanu-PF activists said Rhodes's remains on Zimbabwean soil served no purpose other than being a place his white descendents frequented to adore his land-grabbing exploits.

"We strongly support what is happening in South Africa... We are blacks who believe in amadlozi [forefather].... We cannot stand seeing whites coming from abroad every day to honour and conduct rituals before their ancestor who is here buried on our own land," Zanu-PF activist Zweli Malinga was quoted as saying.

This is not the first time that activists from the ruling party have called for the removal of Rhodes's remains.

War veterans in 2012 pushed for Rhodes's remains to be returned to the UK, blaming them for a lack of rain in the area.

However, President Robert Mugabe's officials at the time moved swiftly to block the exhumation, saying Rhodes's legacy was part of the country's history, according to The Telegraph.

The self-chosen burial place of the Oxford-educated mining magnate still attracts thousands of visitors each year, bringing much-needed tourism revenue to the area.

Read more on:    uct  |  zanu-pf  |  cecil john rhodes  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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