Cecil Rhodes was a racist imperialist who thought of whites as the “master race.”
“Rhodes Must Fall” campaign successful
The university voted Wednesday to remove the statue. The council said it had asked students, staff and alumni before coming to its decision. “This is exactly how a university should work and we believe it is an example to the country in dealing with heritage issues,” it said.
The “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign began last month when Chumani Maxwele, an activist, spread excrement on the Rhodes statue, demonstrating against the legacy of Rhodes’ racism at the University.
An exploiter of African labor who stole land from indigenous people
The protesters’ campaign have said over the past month that Rhodes was a man “who exploited Black labor and stole land from indigenous people.”
Adekeye Adebajo, executive director of South Africa’s Centre for Conflict Resolution, said that the protesters’ call to get rid of the statue is “a metaphorical call for the transformation of the university’s curriculum, culture and faculty, which many blacks feel are alienating and still reflect a Eurocentric heritage.”
Rhodes founded the De Beers diamond company which still controls the global diamond trade. As a political leader in southern Africa, he worked to change voting and land ownership laws to disenfranchise Blacks and referred to the whites as the “master race.”
Rhodes: The more of the world the white race inhabits, the better
He said, “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.”
South Africa has some of the largest disparities in wealth between Blacks and whites in the world.
“Why should we not form a secret society with but one object?” Rhodes once said. “The furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?”
A step in the direction of toppling neocolonialism and imperialism
The fall of the statue of the racist exploiter should be seen as one step in the direction of toppling neocolonialism and imperialism in South Africa.