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  • The statue was decapitated in the Rhode Memorial.

    The statue was decapitated in the Rhode Memorial. | Photo: AFP

Published 15 July 2020
Opinion

On June 18, the governors of the Oxford University college in England voted to remove another statue of Cecil Rhode.

The statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes was beheaded by activists in Cape Town, South Africa, authorities of the South African National Parks announced on Wednesday.

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“The head of the statue was cut from the bust with what seems to be an angle grinder somewhere between Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning,” the organization said in a statement.

The incident is the latest in a series of monuments that have been turned down following the death of U.S. black citizen George Floyd by a police officer. As part of the wave of anti-racism protests, statues of colonialists all over the world have been decapitated or destroyed.

Cecil Rhode was a British diamond magnate and politician and white supremacist who amazed his fortune by exploiting the labor of black miners and then limiting the amount of money they could own.

The Rhodes Memorial, where the incident took place,  was built in 1912 on the slopes of Table Mountain area. Back in 2015, another Rhode bust, at the University of Cape Town was removed as a result of students' demonstrations against colonial times and their symbols.

Authorities confirmed that the circumstances surrounding the incident were being investigated and no one had been arrested yet.

Authorities also recalled that the country´s law has formal processes to follow, through the Department of Arts and Culture, to petition for the removal of colonial statues.

On June 18 the governors of the Oxford University college in England voted to remove another statue of Cecil Rhode following the campaign "Rhode must fall" by which people called for the statue to be taken down as it was a symbol of imperialism and racism. 

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