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Cape Town University Votes for Removal of Colonial Statue

In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town near the city centre of Cape Town, South Africa.  On March 9, 2015, a South African student protester tossed feces onto the statue of Rhodes, igniting nationwide calls to remove other statues of former white leaders, and the uproar continues as part of a larger discourse about change in South Africa, and the legacy of apartheid. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, a statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town near the city centre of Cape Town, South Africa. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

(BBC) – The University of Cape Town (UCT) has voted to remove a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes that had become the focus of student protests.

The monument will be taken down from the campus on Thursday and stored for “safe keeping”, UCT’s council said.

Students have been campaigning for the removal of the statue of the 19th century figure, unveiled in 1934. It was smeared with excrement last month.

Other monuments to colonial-era leaders have also been recently vandalised.

The campaign has triggered a backlash. On Wednesday, crowds of white South Africans rallied at statues of Paul Kruger in the capital Pretoria, and Jan van Riebeeck in Cape Town, saying they were part of their heritage and should not be targeted.

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