Oxford student who wants Rhodes statue down branded 'hypocrite' for taking money from trust
An Oxford student who is leading a campaign to remove Cecil Rhodes statue has been bullied online after revelations that his education has been funded by the scholarship set up by the colonial politician, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Ntokozo Qwabe has been accused of “disgraceful hypocrisy” over the weekend because he has been funded by the scholarship set up by the man whose statue he wants removed.
The South African student has been aggressively campaigning to remove the Rhodes statue at Oriel College because of the politician’s controversial views on other races.
Mr Qwabe and members of the Rhodes Must Fall movement have said that paying homage to the British imperialist is at odds with the university’s “inclusive culture”.
However, since Mr Qwabe is also a recipient of the scholarship, which last year spent £8 million on 89 scholars, some have called for him to hand the money back.
“Rhodes did not have a scholarship. It was never his money. All that he looted must absolutely be returned immediately."
The student has argued that he isn’t a beneficiary of Rhodes money and that he simply taking back “tiny fractions” of what he looted during his time in Africa.
Posted on Mr Qwabe’s wall, a critic wrote: “Disgraceful hypocrisy from a beneficiary of [a] Rhodes’ scholarship.”
Another one wrote: “Give back your scholarship and remove the chip off your shoulder.”
A separate user wrote: “Your hypocrisy is breathtaking. It would appear that you weren’t too principled when offered a Rhodes scholarship. If you object so much to this nation’s lack of political correctness, the answer is in your hands. I wasn’t lucky enough to go to university and I take your narrow minded attitude as a slap in the face to the freedoms we fought world wards to keep.”
But Mr Qwabe fought back. He wrote: “Rhodes did not have a scholarship. It was never his money. All that he looted must absolutely be returned immediately.
“I’m no beneficiary of Rhodes. I’m a beneficiary of the resources and labour of my people which Rhodes pillaged and slaved.”
Rhodes was the founder of Rhodesia, named after him in 1895, later divided into two and now Zambia and Zimbabwe. He was a great benefactor of the expansion of the British Empire. He used his wealth from diamond mining and other ventures to help create new territories through obtaining mineral concessions in Africa.
He also believed the expansion of the ‘superior’ Anglo-saxon race was beneficial for the rest of humanity. He said: “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is for the human race.”
On moral grounds, campaigners now argue his statue should be removed from Oriel College. However, the statue is part of a building of particular historical importance and Historic England has said it will not consider whether to remove the statue on moral grounds.
A senior source said: “"Our primary consideration is the building's architectural interest, its communal value of what it means to people today. As such, we would look at how the statue contributes to the architecture as a whole and how it helps us understand the building."
The source said it would be difficult to make a case for the removal of the statue. The source added: "We would also consider any damage to the building as a result of removing the statue."