Cecil Rhodes ‘beheaded’ at Cape Town monument

Protests have occurred across the world over the controversial Rhodes, with many calling for the removal of statues of the 19th century British colonialist. in SA, these have happened under the banner of “Rhodes Must Fall”.

Protesters, which included university students, have argued that the towering Rhodes statues were symbols of oppression, and grew to encompass institutional racism and a lack of racial transformation.

Thousands of protesters have marched across the US and Europe calling for the removal of monuments seen as glorifying the imperialist nature of countries such as Britain.

Rhodes, who made his fortune in South African diamond mining, has become a lightning rod for anti-colonial anger since students forced the University of Cape Town in 2015 to remove his statue from its campus.

Completed in 1912, Rhodes Memorial consists of massive granite steps, flanked by bronze lions, and a rider astride a bronze horse at the beginning of the steps which leads to the top where the bust is situated, with an inscription beneath.

“It has been vandalised before, multiple times … At this stage we are still unclear about the reasoning behind the vandalism,” said Clayton.

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