Rhodes statue may be re-erected

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes was taken down almost five months ago.

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes was taken down almost five months ago.

Published Sep 17, 2015


Cape Town - The statue of Cecil John Rhodes has been off the premises of UCT for about five months, but there is a possibility it may be put back.

This is if an application for the permanent removal of the statue is not lodged with Heritage Western Cape (HWC) within 90 days.

Rhodes’s statue was at the university’s upper campus for more than 80 years, but was removed in April after calls for transformation by students.

The statue came down after a collective of students, under the name Rhodes Must Fall, engaged in debates and protests calling for institutional racism at UCT to be eradicated.

The university’s spokesman, Thami Nkwanyane, said the permit issued for the temporary removal of the statue required a permanent removal application to be made within 90 days.

“We commenced the process of public consultation immediately thereafter, but the interested and affected parties raised concerns that this would not allow sufficient time for commenting on the draft heritage statement. To promote better administrative justice and ensure a thorough public consultation process, where a two-phase public consultation process would be accommodated, a decision was taken on April 22 to extend the 90-day time frame to 150 days from the date of the permit.”

In June, the university applied to the HWC for a 30-day extension, which Nkwanyane said allowed them time to consider possible implications of the draft guidelines of HWC.

“In terms of this, an application for an extension was submitted to HWC on July 8, and on August 4 the committee agreed to further extend the deadline from 150 days to 180 days. During finalising the draft heritage statement, it became evident, through a miscalculation, that fewer than 30 days remained for public comment on the statement.”

He said the university requested that the HWC consider the extension of the deadline of the permanent application so no party would be disadvantaged. They requested public comment be opened until October 20. “The HWC has agreed to permit this extension for the reasons provided.”

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Cape Argus

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