Statue of British Colonialist Removed from University of Cape Town Campus

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is in the process of being removed. (David Harrison, MG)
The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is in the process of being removed. (David Harrison, MG)

University of Cape Town student Chumani Maxwele, who infamously threw faeces on the university’s Cecil John Rhodes statue last month, said the decision to remove the monument vindicates former black academics at the institution.

On Wednesday evening, a sitting of the University of Cape Town’s special Council voted unanimously in favour of removing the Rhodes statue from its current location on UCT’s upper campus.

Maxwele told News24 on Thursday that he and the students involved in the Rhodes Must Fall campaign were happy with the outcome of a month-long saga, which included many protests and sit-ins.

Dignity restored

“We welcome the decision. The dignity of former black academics [at the university] has been restored,” he said.

Maxwele was referring to former UCT academics AC Jordan and Archie Mafeje, among others, who were alleged victims of discrimination at the university in the 1950s and 60s.

UCT’s SRC President Ramabina Mahapa told News24 that many of these former academics made “substantial contributions” to the university, but weren’t afforded equal recognition at the time.

Mafeje, for one, was asked to leave his post as a lecturer in the university’s social anthropology department in 1968 following pressure from the Apartheid government.

“The fact that he [Mafeje] is only being honoured now was the problem. It’s a big issue, and has taken too long,” Mahapa said on Thursday.

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SOURCE: Paul Herman, News24

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