Since the poo protest at UCT last week, relations between the university’s SRC and management have become severely strained. As the cries of “Rhodes must fall!” grow ever louder, it seems inevitable that the statue of the colonialist Cecil John Rhodes will, at the very least, be found a new home in the not-too-distant future.
It’s all very well protesting for the removal of symbols of apartheid and colonialism, but what then? What of students who continue to be discriminated against or made to feel unwelcome on campus because of their race? What about syllabi that continue to prioritise Western thought and world views over the scholarship of our continent? How will removing symbols achieve real change? Whether the statue comes down or not, the dialogue about transformation at UCT has a long way to go.