Statue of apartheid figure removed from university in South Africa

GMT 04:43 2015 Friday ,10 April

Arab Today, arab today Statue of apartheid figure removed from university in South Africa

A crane stands ready to remove
Cape Town - XINHUA

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes, an outstanding apartheid figure, was removed on Thursday from the campus of University of Cape Town (UCT).
This followed several weeks of protests by UCT students who demanded the removal of Rhodes' statue.
The decision by the UCT to remove Rhodes' statue drew applause from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which is spearheading a campaign to remove all colonial era monuments.
"We celebrate this as an important step towards the transformation of our public academic spaces, which open up a meaningful possibility to recreate them in favour of a progressive cultural symbolism that represents post-apartheid democratic values," the EFF said in a statement.
The statue of Rhodes on UCT's upper campus has been the subject of much debate. For some, it's a symbol of imperialism and a marker of what remains untransformed about UCT. For others, it's an undeniable part of the university's past.
The UCT has initiated a process to review statues, building names and other symbols that affect the institutional climate of UCT, and how these affect the sense of inclusiveness or alienation felt by staff and students.
The EFF urged the UCT to inspire all other universities, as centers of learning and research, not to wait for protest, but to undertake a non-negotiable removal of colonial and apartheid statues whilst ensuring public participation in that regard.
"Of all institutions that must take inspiration from UCT is government and parliament, who must also remove all colonial and apartheid monuments in our public spaces," EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
The EFF has long held the conviction that it is these monuments that continue to inspire white people to think they are superior and have the right to celebrate their murderous and racist past even 21 years after 1994 when apartheid was brought to an end, Ndlozi said.
Rhodes came from Britain to South Africa, where he founded the De Beers diamond empire and later became premier of Cape Colony in 1890. He began the policy of enforced racial segregation in South Africa.
Rhodes donated the land on which the UCT campus was built. The statue, unveiled in 1934, depicts him in a seated position and has been a source of discontent for years.

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