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#RhodesMustFall: 'Oxford union vote a symbolic victory’

The prestigious debating society voted 245 to 212 in favour of removing the statue from Oriel College.

FILE: The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) student group, the Rhodes Must Fall Movement demonstrating. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Doctorate student and Rhodes Must Fall campaigner, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh says the movement has secured an important symbolic victory in the United Kingdom after the Oxford Union voted to remove a statue of British imperialist, Cecil John Rhodes.

The prestigious debating society voted 245 to 212 in favour of removing Rhodes's statue from Oriel College following a fierce debate on the topic last night.

The movement is an extension of a campaign that resulted in the University of Cape Town removing a statue of Rhodes from its prominent position on the institution's main campus last year.

Mpofu-Walsh, who is a member of the union, says removing the statue is a realistic goal.

"The consequences of the vote are hugely symbolic because, often when Oxford union takes a decision the university follows. The union isn't directly linked to the university, [so] this doesn't mean that the university will necessarily decide to remove the statue but it's a hugely symbolic victory for Rhodes Must Fall."