Oxford call for banishing of Rhodes

13 July 2015 - 09:21 By FARREN COLLINS

Even in the land of his birth Cecil John Rhodes' statue is not safe - students at Oxford University have called for its removal. The Oxford University chapter of the "Rhodes Must Fall" movement is preparing a list of three demands for change at the British university, including his statue's removal.The movement has been inspired by the successful "Rhodes Must Fall" campaign at the University of Cape Town earlier this year, which led to the removal of Rhodes's statue from that campus.Organising member of the group Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh said his group would demand greater representation for blacks at the university, removal of colonial iconography on any of its campuses and a curriculum that was more representative.Yesterday the university referred The Times to a statement issued by Oriel College that said: "When Cecil Rhodes died in 1902 he left 2% of his estate to Oriel College, where he had been a student. His legacy helped to fund the construction of a new building, opened in 1911, which is now grade-2 listed [a list of historical buildings]. The building frontage included a statue commemorating his benefaction."Now, over a century after the building was constructed, Rhodes is thought of very differently. The college draws a clear line between acknowledging the historical fact of Rhodes's donation and in any way condoning his political views. Oriel College is committed to being at the forefront of the drive to make Oxford University more diverse and inclusive of people from all backgrounds."Mpofu-Walsh, who is the son of EFF politician Dali Mpofu, said the college's response was weak and perpetuated the "myth" that the money donated by Rhodes was his.

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