Cape Town – The statue of 19th-century colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at Rhodes Memorial has been beheaded.
According to Rey Thakhuli, acting head of communications for the South African National Parks (SANParks): “The head of the statue was cut from the bust with what seems to be an angle grinder somewhere between Sunday night or the early hours of Monday morning”
The motive for the vandalism is not yet known.
“Table Mountain National Park senior section ranger on patrol of the area came across the incident on Monday 13 July 2020, and a case of vandalism has been opened with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Rondebosch for further investigation,” Thakhuli said.
SAPS spokesperson Andrè Traut said that a case was reported at Rondebosch police station on Tuesday and is currently under investigation.
“This office can confirm that a malicious damage to property case was reported on 14 July 2020 after it was discovered that the Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial had been vandalised. The circumstances surrounding the matter are being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet.”
Recently, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, a local group calling themselves the Black People’s National Crisis Committee, called for the removal of Anglo-Boer War general Louis Botha’s statue outside Parliament.
Committee convener Songezo Maziz said: “These monuments are an insult to black people, who still have to deal with the material and psychological repercussions of the settler colonial conquest.”
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