Rhodes statue to be removed after UCT council decision

2015-04-08 21:08
The statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

The statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Cape Town - The University of Cape Town’s council has ruled that the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the centre of much debate over the last few weeks, must be removed from the institution’s steps.

On March 27, the university said its Senate had "voted overwhelmingly in favour of recommending to council that the statue of Rhodes be moved when council holds its special sitting on Wednesday, April 8 2015".

The council’s decision follows weeks of protest and debate over the statue that began when some activists threw human waste on it.

Earlier students stormed the room where the council members are meeting to discuss whether the state of Cecil John Rhodes will be removed from it's campus.

On Wednesday students have told the council that the meeting was not legitimate because there are no black women representatives.

"Council tells students they either go and let meeting continue or meeting will be delayed," Hess reported.

The council announced that the meeting could not continue after students insist they are staying and want to observe.

Council members trying to leave the meeting room have been blocked by students as shouting matches between various parties take place.

Hess tweeted: "Room doors closed. Will students let council pass?"

One council member, who is in need of his diabetes medication, is not being allowed to leave the room as student continue to block the room.

UCT Vice Chancellor Max Price wanted the statue moved and not destroyed, but his suggestion was rejected by some students.

The matter has also sparked defacement of other colonial-era monuments around the country, including a statue of King George VI at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the throwing of green paint on a statue of Paul Kruger in Pretoria.

The EFF has admitted to defacing Kruger’s statue.

Rhodes was a British colonialist, businessman, mining magnate and politician in southern Africa. He founded Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) which was named after him in 1895. Rhodes University is also named after him.

Read more on:    uct  |  max price  |  cape town  |  cecil john rhodes  |  monuments debate

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