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Oxford Union votes Rhodes must fall

Students at the Oxford Union voted to remove the statue following fierce debate last night.

Statue of Cecil Rhodes on the front of Oriel College’s Rhodes Building, facing Oxford's High Street. Picture: oxfordhistory.org.uk.

JOHANNESBURG - Students at the Oxford Union, a prestigious debating society, have voted to remove the statue of Cecil John Rhodes following fierce debate on the topic last night.

Organisers of the ' Rhodes Must Fall' movement at Oxford have been campaigning for the removal of the statue from Oriel College in the United Kingdom.

It is an extension of a similar 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.

Oxford student and activist Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh says the movement has secured a symbolic victory.

"We've gone from being laughed at and told that this is an impossible dream to the college where the statue is housed now saying they're taking it seriously and now the Oxford Union voting in our favour."

He says removing the statue is a realistic goal.