The decision by Council to remove the statue of Cecil John Rhodes from campus is one that the Students’ Representative Council ‘wholeheartedly welcomes’. The SRC furthermore calls for a mass meeting on Thursday 9 April 2015 at 15:00 and announces the end of the Bremner occupation.
On Thursday 12 March 2015, the SRC answered the clarion call by UCT students to have the statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed and further address broader issues of transformation.
Thereafter, the SRC endorsed and joined students in their programme of action, which led to the occupation of the Bremner Building on Friday, 13 March 2015. The SRC steered the occupation until 14 March, and the steering role of the occupation was then assumed by the #RhodesMustFall movement. The occupation is a collective effort by students, staff, outsourced workers and wider communities to mobilise for broader and meaningful transformation at the university.
After much protest by the new occupants of Azania House (previously the Bremner Building) and following the favourable Council’s decision taken today, on 8 April, the Vice Chancellor Dr Max Price has agreed to have the statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed from campus. The university has managed to obtain a temporary permit to remove the statue for safe-keeping and will proceed with the formal application to have the statue permanently removed. The statue is to be removed and placed in storage from 9 April at 17:00.
The decision by Council to have the statue removed is one that we wholeheartedly welcome. Following this decision, the SRC endorses and supports the decision by the #RhodesMustFall movement to hold a mass meeting at Azania House tomorrow at 15:00. The SRC would like to further announce the end of the occupation and this will take effect immediately after the statue has been removed.
The SRC has supported and worked closely with the #RhodesMustFall movement in fulfilling the mandate to have the Cecil John Rhodes statue removed. The SRC will continue to support the RhodesMustFall movement. However, the SRC will henceforth be focusing more on other issues that concern the student population and in advocating for broader transformation from a governance perspective. It must therefore be noted that we will not be as involved as we have been in the organising of further activities that may occur.
This is not the end; on the contrary, we are just beginning to transform this university to the ideals it so much promotes. As the SRC, we encourage every student to participate and contribute to the social change that we are experiencing.
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Following an initiative of the Rhodes Must Fall (RMF) Scholarship Committee as proposed by student activists at the University of Cape Town, the university has launched the #RMF Scholarship Fund and hosted an RMF public lecture on 9 April 2021. The lecture will be hosted annually hereafter.
The Rhodes Must Fall Scholarship Fund is a new initiative that aims to raise funding to support students engaged in scholarship around the decolonisation of higher education.
After one month of rolling protests about UCT’s colonial symbols and heritage, and calls for greater transformation, the statue of Cecil John Rhodes was removed from campus on 9 April 2015. We looked at the events leading up to its removal through a photographer’s lens.