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UKZN joins 'Rhodes Must Fall' transformation debate

Malegapura Makgoba says there shouldn't even be a debate around the removal of statues that are offensive.

FILE: UCT students march down the stairs in front of the Rhodes statue. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Malegapuru Makgoba on Thursday said institutions have not been able to produce tangible evidence of change amid ongoing debate about the issue at tertiary institutions.

Makgoba is also the chairperson of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation at the university.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702's John Robbie, Makgoba said there shouldn't even be a debate around the removal of statues that are clearly offensive:

LISTEN: John Robbie speaks to UKZN Vice-Chancellor Malegapura Makgoba.

Students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) started a movement to have the statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed while the statue of King George was defaced in Durban.

Makgoba said evidence of transformation is needed and the debate about the Rhodes statue redirected.

"Universities have always told me that they're transforming and when you ask them, 'show me a programme of transformation that is transparent and that can be measured', none of the universities can show that."

UCT HOSTS HEATED DEBATE

A public debate over the future of the Rhodes statue became heated on Thursday.

The Centre for Conflict Resolution held a debate against the backdrop of the Rhodes Must Fall issue.

Attention was diverted from the debate when a small group of UCT students entered the centre with banners reading, 'Rhodes Must Fall'.

They stood on the periphery and listened to the different views being shed.

Members of the public say they found the debate enlightening.

"I was very impressed by the students when they came onto the stage."

Debate chairperson Chris Landsberg commended the students for starting a national debate.

The public discussion comes after several weeks of protests on the UCT campus calling for the Rhodes statue to be removed and placed in a museum.

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