A statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes has been decapitated in Cape Town, South African National Parks said on Wednesday.
The statue, which sits on the northern slope of Table Mountain, a popular tourist attraction, was vandalized earlier this week, Rey Thakhuli from SANParks said in a statement.
Thakhuli said that a Table Mountain National Park ranger had discovered that the statue’s head had been gouged off while patrolling the area.
“The head of the statue was cut from the bust with what seems to be an angle grinder somewhere between Sunday night or the early hours of Monday morning,” he said.
Rhodes, a businessman and politician, was a 19th century imperialist who sought more British control over Southern Africa. He ruled as Prime Minister of Cape Colony (now South Africa) in 1890.
And as co-founder of diamond-mining company, De Beers, Rhodes also wanted to acquire more territory for mining.
SANParks said it could not determine the motive for the vandalism, but it had reported the incident to the police.
The beheading of the statue in Cape Town comes on the heels of global Black Lives Matter protests that have seen figures of colonialists toppled around the world.
In Uganda and Nigeria, activists have petitioned their governments to remove and rename streets and monuments named after colonialists. They say these figures are reminiscent of their colonial conquest in some African countries.
Last month, protesters in England also called for the removal of a Rhodes statue outside Oxford University’s Oriel College where the late imperialist studied.
The demonstrations built on the 2015 #RhodesMustFall campaign campaign in South Africa that led to the evacuation of a Rhodes monument in the University of Cape Town. CNN