Mugabe: We won’t dig up Rhodes

via Mugabe: We won’t dig up Rhodes – The Zimbabwean 9 April 2015

Zimbabwe has the corpse of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes while South Africa has his statue, said Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe on Wednesday.

“We in Zimbabwe had forgotten about Cecil Rhodes until South Africa said it has his statue in Cape Town, where he was the minister of the Cape and mischievously wanted to also take control of Zimbabwe,” said Mugabe.

“We have his corpse, you can keep his statue,” he added, causing South African President Jacob Zuma and the twenty cabinet ministers from both governments to break in laughter.

Mugabe arrived in South Africa on Tuesday on an official visit, accompanied by ten of his cabinet ministers and his wife Grace.

Rhodes’ statue, situated within the campus of the University of Cape Town, has been the subject of national dialogue after students staged protests, demanding that it be removed.

This was followed by protests and the defacing of other statues of colonialists and apartheid-era figures across the country.

Rhodes is buried at the “View of the World” hill in the Matopo district in Zimbabwe, reportedly in keeping with his final will.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe was looking after Rhodes. “I don’t know what you want us to do with him…do you think we should dig him up? …but perhaps his spirit may rise again. We have decided to keep him down there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mugabe defended his government’s drive to take majority control of foreign-owned mining companies, saying investors must pay for exploiting Africa’s mineral wealth.

In his first state visit to neighbouring South Africa in two decades, 91-year-old Mugabe was scathing of mining firms that criticised a law obliging foreign-owned firms to sell at least 51 percent to black Zimbabweans.

“You’re leaving holes in my country and you want to say the capital is more valuable?” Mugabe told reporters after trade talks with South African President Jacob Zuma.

“The gold that I have, God given gold, is much more beneficial to my country,” he added, drawing applause from Zimbabwean and South African government ministers.

Impala Platinum, Anglo American Platinum and London-listed Aquarius Platinum are among foreign firms operating in Zimbabwe, which has significant reserves of platinum, diamonds and gold.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s only leader since independence from Britain in 1980 and one of Africa’s most divisive figures, was also defiant on the seizure of white owned commercial farms for redistribution to blacks.

Land is an emotive issue also in South Africa, where most of it remains in white hands since apartheid ended two decades ago despite the ruling party’s efforts at redistribution.

Western countries have withheld financial aid to Harare in protest over Mugabe’s policies and charges he has rigged elections to stay in power, worsening an economic crisis that has driven millions of Zimbabweans to South Africa for jobs.

During an hour-long, unscripted speech, Mugabe attacked the “reckless and brutal approach of the West” towards Africa and the Middle East, lampooning former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and describing the United Nations as a “circus”.


  • comment-avatar
    Nyathi 7 years ago

    Mugabe you are a complete dick head totally out of touch with reality, the sooner you and your wife die the better for Zimbabwe, hopefully the other dick heads who think they can run a country will also perish.

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    blackboy 7 years ago

    Yes Sir. But you took over the house he laid the foundations for.Now millions of your grandchildren have run away from zim.An exodus which did not even happen when all countrys around us and in africa were free.You are both great men who did a lot for this country,but the total balance seems now to be against you.

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    Robert , your regime is the circus , you silly old geezer.

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    Mlimo 7 years ago

    One thing will be certain in the next two or three hundred years is that more people will visit Rhodes,s grave than will visit Mugabe,s. As for the blithering idiot called Zuma no one will even remember him in years to come. As for Rhodes,s statue another can be made and placed where the CapeTown university student village idiots can’t throw poo at it. You can’t change history but you can shape it by your current actions. Nothing bodes well for SA. Time to stop investing there.

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    R Judd 7 years ago

    In a short life Rhodes achieved more than Mugabe ever has or will. Rhodes was a builder. Mugabe a destroyer. Mugabe’s government cannot even maintain the railway built by Rhodes more than 100 years ago. The best brains on the planet are still developed Rhodes’ trust more than 100 years after he died. Students on Mugabe scholarships are mostly under achievers who will find themselves stranded because their benefactor cannot keep his word.

    Rhodes brought development and progress to Southern Africa. I do not think any serious person would accuse Mugabe of either of these things

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    John Smith 7 years ago

    When it became evident that Rhodesia was to be ruled by Mugabe the remains of Cecil John Rhodes was removed from its grave and substituted with other unknown remains – Selous Scouts leaving the country loaded the statue of Rhodes onto a military vehicle and drove it to South Africa – also Lookout Musuku a detachment commander for the South East of Rhodesia was killed in a contact south east of Buhera in late 1970s by PATU Umtali he and hundreds more Charlie Tangos were buried in a mass grave close to a main tarred road so the book written by Judith Todd is fictional lookout Musuku did not die in Bulawayo in 1986 as for Rhodes Zuma can have last laugh and the British laugh longest

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    What is the difference between the persecution of blacks by Rhodes for dominance and that of Mugabe today under gukuruhunzi?

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      John Smith 7 years ago

      The British used Africans to labour on farms, the Romans made slaves of Britons but we do not complain to Rome about past history, that is the difference between Rhodes and Mugabe.
      Mugabe says he went to war to liberate the land from whites to blacks, in the 1st 20 years under Mugabe the UK & USA governments did not abide by the agreement that they made in 1979 they never paid for the white farmers to give up their farms Mugabe leased out state land to white farmers even as late as early 2000 – It was not about land but getting rich quick and he has certainly been successful in that. Which African country can say that they live in harmony with all races and are free from corruption, please let me know so that I can go there.