Statement on the removal of Rhodes statue from Rehad Desai:
The fight over the removal Rhodes statue carries meaning through to today. Rhodes stood for the untrammelled exploitation of South Africa and the wider continents resources for the interests of the few. He with others established the architecture for a political economy that stretched across Southern Africa. A system designed to keep labour as cheap as possible and ensures that the majority of South/ Southern Africans remained trapped in poverty. The racial form of capitalism that he was key to entrenching still remains with us today, economic inequality along racial lines is not narrowing but widening despite the end of apartheid. The demand for equality is was led to the Marikana Massacre, we must always remember what length our leaders will stoop to to protect the system that benefits a tiny minority.
His statue must be removed entirely from the campus, it is symbol of oppression and exploitation and the enduring inequality that lives on in South Africa, and UCT cannot with any integrity argue that somehow that they university is somehow exempt from this general societal pattern.
Rehad Desai on behalf of the Marikana Support Campaign.