Rhodes will fall today
The Cecil John Rhodes statue at UCT is set to be removed at 5pm today after weeks of protests.
CAPE TOWN - After deciding to go ahead with the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, management at the University of Cape Town (UCT) says it will now consider changing some of the names of buildings on campus.
#RhodesStatue Council has announced the Cecil John Rhodes statue will be removed. MK
- EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 8, 2015
This follows weeks of protests by some students who have been calling for the statue to be moved and for transformation to be expedited.
The monument is set to be removed at 5pm this afternoon.
The UCT Rhodes Must Fall Campaign last night achieved a part of what it set out to do when council voted to remove the statue.
UCT vice chancellor Max Price says the university will soon conduct an audit of controversial names of buildings and symbols to be reviewed for renaming.
"For the example, the named of our main hall, Jameson Hall, is an obvious one and is probably one of the first that we'll consider."
Price says they will work with the Western Cape Heritage Council and it is hoped the process will be completed by the end of this year.
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The university's Student Representative Council has welcomed the decision.
At the same time, UCT's head of media, Herman Wasserman, says discussion around transformation issues should not waver when the statue is taken down.
He says the campaign has sparked a wider conversation about heritage and identity.
"We should try and get to the bottom of the debate and not only cover it as a sporting match in the end. Try and look for solutions, find different viewpoints and listen to various points of view."
Meanwhile, students and members of the public expressed their feelings on social media about the decision to remove the Rhodes statue.
That statue has been through so much if it could it would voluntarily walk away #RhodesHasFallen
- Sydney Mashinini (@Ntshangase001) April 8, 2015
Not about changing history, It's about changing attitudes.
- Cybersafe SA kids (@DontBeTwitfaced) April 9, 2015
I feel so proud of all the students at UCT. My heart has this warm and fuzzy feeling. We will no longer be oppressed. #RhodesHasFallen
- concrete flower. (@_OhSoLoveLee) April 8, 2015
- Native (@mamzmolepo) April 8, 2015
Finally, atleast racism in Africa continues to be cracked down #RhodesHasFallen Now if we could stop xenephobia.
- Kunta Tha King (@phreshreezy) April 8, 2015
The Rhodes Statue is now in a critical but stable position. #RhodesStatue
- Bazil the Bulldog (@BaziltheBulldog) April 8, 2015
- OldLadyPants (@oldladypants) April 8, 2015
The Department of Arts and Culture has welcomed the decision to remove the statue.
The department's Sandile Memela says, "It is a welcomed decision and a significant step in the right direction. We hope that this will begin to signal the way forward."