President of the The University of Cape Town (UCT) SRC (Student Representative Council), Ramabina Mahapa, has said that he and other SRC members were not involved in the organising of yesterday’s “poo protest”.
Instead, the organiser was a fourth-year politics student, Chumani Maxwele, who told Independent Online that he protested on behalf of “the collective pain and suffering” of all black people. He also said that he was calling for the removal of the statue.
UCT, he said, has no collective history, alleging that students are “offended” by the architecture and names of buildings on the campus. He then emptied a container of faeces over the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, on the university’s upper campus.
“This poo that we are throwing on the statue represents the shame of black people,” he told Independent Online. “By throwing it on the statue we are throwing our shame to whites’ affluence.”
However, according to Mahapa, the substance used in the protest was manure and not human faeces.
He told Wits Vuvuzela that he “does not condone the act” in terms of procedure and university regulation, but can “sympathise and understand” with Maxwele and his reasons.
“This is mainly because the university hasn’t ever listened to students,” he said.
The university yesterday released a statement that condoned “vandalism of UCT property” and the violation of “health laws”. The vice-chancellor’s office is instigating the incident and has demanded a comprehensive and immediate report.
Wits Vuvuzela, STORIFY: Poo protests at the University of Cape Town, March 10, 2015