The University of Cape Town removed the statue of Cecil John Rhodes for the sake of its public image, and should not be praised, one of the activists behind #RhodesMustFall told Wits Vuvuzela. The statue of Rhodes was removed from UCT on Thursday evening following a month-long student protest and a decision taken by the University Council.
“This is just a small victory, the university should not be praised. They only did this for their public image,” said Ru Slayen, one of the protesters members. Slayen said the statue removal is the beginning of transformation at UCT, and activists plan to start talks about transforming the university.
“The statue was provocative, undermining and sitting in the face of a black child, it’s like putting a statue of Hitler in a Jewish institution”
Students from Wits University have celebrated on UCT’s victory.
Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini said removing the statue was only the beginning and the transformation campaign was bigger than just UCT.
“South Africa is still untransformed,” he said “The statue was provocative, undermining and sitting in the face of a black child. It’s like putting a statue of Hitler in a Jewish institution.”
“We have always stood in solidarity with UCT students, but we are more interested on the questions that rise after the removal, such as the curriculum transformation,” said Shibu Motimele, one of the members of the Transform Wits.
Mzwanele Ntshwanti,Wits 3rd year Actuarial Science, told Wits Vuvuzela “I do not think student leaders should get excited, there is a long way to go,” he said. “It’s not just about the statue.”