Posted on March 25, 2015

Zimbabweans Threaten to Dig up the Grave of Cecil Rhodes

Peta Thornycroft, Telegraph, March 24, 2015

The grave of Cecil Rhodes in Zimbabwe could be dug up after anti-colonial protests.

Rhodes is buried at a site he chose, known as World’s View, in the Matopos Hills, half-an-hour’s drive south of Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo. His grave is a major tourist attraction in one of the poorest parts of Zimbabwe.

But some of President Robert Mugabe’s supporters said they would dig up the grave in solidarity with protests in South Africa calling for the removal of Rhodes’s statue from Cape Town University.

“We strongly support what is happening in South Africa. We cannot stand seeing whites coming from abroad every day to honour and conduct rituals before their ancestor who is buried on our own land,” said Zweli Malinga, an official with the ruling Zanu PF party in Bulawayo.

Three years ago, Mr Mugabe blocked war veterans from disinterring Rhodes and sending his bones back to England, arguing that the grave was an important reminder of history. Rhodes, originally from Hertfordshire, made a fortune mining diamonds in South Africa before moving north to establish Rhodesia.

Ramabina Mahapa, a student leader at Cape Town University, said its bronze statue of Rhodes was offensive to black students. “Whose heritage are we preserving?” he asked.