It started in March with a frenzied throwing of faeces at the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (UCT). This turned into a well-supported and structured movement at the university, with the “revolution” now bleeding into other universities and other statues.
In an unprecedented step, the University took the decision on Wednesday night to remove the Rhodes statue from its prominent current location – for the sake of transformation.
“This is not reverse racism at all. We are dealing with historical justice here,” said 36-year-old PhD student Wandile Kasibe.
The statue was removed a few hours ago – to the cheers of a large crowd.
Australia’s prime minister, Rhodes Scholar Tony Abbott, would probably decry the removal of the statue, but I think feminist Olive Schreiner would be applauding this decision. She was a Rhodes critic over a Century ago. Schreiner, initially awed by Rhodes, had come to abhor him. In April of 1897 she wrote in a letter to her friend:
“We fight Rhodes because he means so much of oppression, injustice, & moral degradation to South Africa. But if he passed away tomorrow there still remains the terrible fact that something in our society has formed the matrix which has fed, nourished, built up such a man!”
“Matrix” – Schreiner used the word back in 1897 – a word that has once again become popular to describe the modus operandi of the power structures.
When I was at the University of Cape Town in the 1970’s, I was ignorant then of Rhodes’ true vision and the egregious means this man pursued power.
Rhodes formed the British South African Company (BSAC) that colonized Zimbabwe, and in April 1888, in search of an oligopoly over diamond production, he (with Rudd and the financial support of Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild) launched the De Beers Consolidated Mines mining company.
At Oxford many years before (1877), Rhodes had articulated his imperial vision:
“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimen of human being, what an alteration there would be in them if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence…”
Rhodes became an incredibly rich man – but he was acutely aware of the relationship between money and power, and it was power he sought.
Power and Secrecy
Cecil Rhodes was motivated by his ‘great idea’ which came to him at the age of 24 – in the hours immediately following his initiation into the Masonic Order while at Oxford University.
He proceeded to pen his ‘Confession of Faith’ in which he outlined his ambition: to establish a secret society whose objective would be the furtherance of the British Empire and the uniting of the entire Anglo-Saxon race, including America, into one single empire.
Rhodes joined together with Rothschild agent Lord Alfred Milner to form a secret group on February 5, 1891. Their group had an Inner Circle, known as the ‘Circle of Initiates,‘ led by Rhodes, and later they formed The Outer Circle – the Round Table.
Rhodes’ fortune, through initiatives like the Rhodes Scholarship Fund, has been used to promote their goal: To eventually establish a one-world government, which would be controlled by the international banking community.
Rhodes supported the idea (from Plato’s Republic) of “…a ruling class with a powerful army to keep it in power and a society completely subordinate to the monolithic authority of the rulers.”
I guess many of the Cape Town students protesting Rhodes have completely underestimated his part in assisting global autocracy. The ‘transformation’ protests are already moving on to other statues – far less “important” than Rhodes.
e.g. Police arrested two men on suspicion of defacing the statue of Boer War general Louis Botha.
Interesting what one small bucket of faeces can do. But Rhodes stank long before.