UCT protest goes online with ‘Rhodes Must Fall’

Picture: Facebook

Picture: Facebook

After last week’s protest on the University of Cape Town’s campus when students dumped human waste on the Cecil John Rhodes statue, a group called “Rhodes Must Fall” has emerged online.

On its Facebook page, UCT: Rhodes Must Fall, the group describes itself as a “collective student, staff and worker movement mobilising for direct action against the institutional racism of UCT”.

On Monday afternoon, the page had over 3 000 likes, and shared the various protest activities that the group had been involved in.

On Sunday, a group protested the Rhodes statue at the Cape Epic.

The group covered the statue using black rubbish bags and tape, after a previous attempt to cover the statue failed. On Sunday, the UCT: Rhodes Must Fall page asked students to wear black to campus on Monday: “[w]e appeal to all students to come to campus wearing black as a sign of solidarity and unity in our cause”. They also announced that there will be a sit-in at the Rhodes statue everyday at 1pm.

“In terms of last Monday’s protest, in which excrement was poured on the Rhodes statue,
our position is that this behaviour is reprehensible and regrettable. We are investigating the
matter,” said Gerda Kruger, the executive director of the communications and marketing department at UCT, in a statement released last week.

“In terms of the particular matter of the Rhodes statue, we note the views of those
participating in the protest action. We recognise that there are divergent views in our
community about the statue and its place on campus.”

“The University of Cape Town welcomes the initiative taken by students today to
demonstrate in a peaceful and lawful manner.”


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