Rhodes Temporarily Falls - Final Decision In 90 Days

APRIL 9, 2015

After nearly a month of heated debates and protests, the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will today be temporarily removed, the UCT and Heritage Western Cape announced in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“The University of Cape Town and Heritage Western Cape hereby confirm that a permit has been granted to UCT for the temporary removal of the Rhodes statue from the campus. These steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the statue while matters concerning its future are resolved,” read the statement.

“The permit for temporary removal grants UCT the right to legally remove the statue for storage at an alternative venue that has to be to the satisfaction of Heritage Western Cape. A heritage architect will oversee the temporary removal.

“The permit for temporary removal is granted pending a main application within 90 days for the permanent removal. This will include a process of wider public participation.”

The #RhodesMustFall debate gained momentum in March after UCT students threw human waste on the statue, situated on UCT’s upper campus, protesting against colonial dominance and what they said was the slow pace of transformation at the university.

After a nearly two-hour delay, the council voted unanimously in favour of the statue’s removal – which is expected to happen at 5pm today.

UCT student representative council president, Ramabina Mahopa, said: “We are happy with the decision, but there is still a long road ahead.”

Mahopa said it was not just about the statue itself but institutional symbolism.