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Rhodes statue removed in Cape Town as crowd celebrates

RHODESSouth Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) has removed a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes that had become the focus of protests.

The monument, taken down in front of cheering protesters, will be 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.

Other monuments to colonial-era leaders have also been the target of protest in South Africa.

The BBC’s Mohammed Allie told Focus On Africa radio that there was a “festive atmosphere” as students, academics, members of political parties and ordinary Cape Town residents came to witness a “historic moment for South Africa”.

The crowd cheered as the statue was being lifted of its plinth. Once it was removed some students jumped on it and started hitting it with wooden sticks and covering the face with plastic.

Photo credit: BBC

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