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A Cecil Rhodes statue has been decapitated in Cape Town, South Africa.

The bronze bust of the British imperialist in a city park had its head removed with an angle grinder on Sunday night or Monday morning, South African National Parks said.

It is the latest monument associated with imperialism or slavery to be targeted since African American George Floyd was killed in US police custody.

George Floyd’s death triggered huge anti-racism demonstrations around the world.

Cecil Rhodes, a white supremacist, led the British colonization of parts of southern Africa during the 19th Century and made a fortune from mining.

Last month, a college at Oxford University said it would take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes after years of pressure by campaigners, who argued it was a symbol of imperialism and racism.

The Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town was built in 1912 on the slopes of Table Mountain and features eight lion statues alongside steps leading up to a granite building where the bust is.

South African National Parks said it had reported the damage to police.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The statue had previously been targeted and was first vandalized in 2001, when red paint was splashed on it. In 2017 its nose was cut off, but was restored the following year.

Another statue of Cecil Rhodes, at the University of Cape Town, was removed in 2015 after it became the focus of protests against colonial-era leaders.

Cecil Rhodes, a revered figure during the days of the British Empire, founded the De Beers mining company in South Africa and also took control of territory in southern Africa that eventually became Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He believed that the English were the master race.

Both South Africa and the former Rhodesia were ruled by white minorities for many years.

Cecil Rhodes left money to Oxford University’s Oriel College after his death in 1902 at the age of 48. A campaign to remove the statue of the colonialist at the college began after the 2015 protests at Cape Town university.


A large section of coastline in South Africa has been closed after a 15-metre whale washed ashore following an attack by Great White sharks.

The giant whale was removed from the surf after its carcass attracted high numbers of great whites to the coast by Muizenberg beach, near Cape Town, on Sunday.

Authorities have since taken the southern right whale from the beach but have closed off a stretch of shore from Muizenberg to Monwabisi “as a precaution”.

Disaster response teams had moved swiftly to get the animal out of the water and onto a flat-bed truck – no easy task when dealing with a species of whale that can weigh up to 47 tons.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, a spokesman for Cape Town’s disaster risk management centre, said: “A decision was taken to begin the recovery operation immediately because of the increase of shark activity off beaches along the False Bay coastline.”

A large section of coastline in South Africa has been closed after a 15-metre whale washed ashore following an attack by Great White sharks

A large section of coastline in South Africa has been closed after a 15-metre whale washed ashore following an attack by Great White sharks

The warning did not stop curious onlookers streaming to the site.

Claire McKinnon, manager of the Cape Town cleansing and solid-waste management department, said samples were taken from the carcass to enable pathologists to establish the cause of death before it was disposed of at a landfill site.

Once the whale was out of the water, a bulldozer rolled it over the sand.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said it was not known whether the whale was alive when the sharks attacked it or had succumbed to an illness.

“Under normal circumstances predators such as sharks often sneak up on their prey from behind or underneath. Predators don’t usually face off in a fight,” he said.

“A predator goes in quickly and quietly attacks the prey. Predators choose the ill, injured, young or old animals to hunt because they are easier to catch.”

In 2005, local teen J.P. Andrews was attacked by a great white shark while surfing off Muizenberg beach.

Doctors pronounced him dead on the beach – but he survived, although he lost his right leg.

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Jeb Corliss, the world famous stunt artist who almost died after crashing into a cliff during a botched leap from Table Mountain in South Africa, today posted incredible footage of the accident on his website.

Jeb Corliss, a 35-year-old Californian daredevil, broke both of his legs and was airlifted to hospital following the horrific smash last month in Cape Town.

The base jumper was being filmed for a television documentary when he careered into a rock face after leaping from the famous landmark wearing only a winged flying suit.

Jeb Corliss, who has spent more than five weeks in hospital since the January 16 accident, today posted a chilling video of the smash on the internet.

The incredible video lasts almost three minutes and is entitled Table Mountain Crash All Angles.

The video starts with a black screen containing a warning message: “May be disturbing for some viewers”, before showing Jeb Corliss fearlessly starting his stunt.

It shows the daredevil leaping from the flat surface of the mountain and soaring towards the sea.

Seconds later the accident can be clearly seen as Jeb Corliss’ legs smash into a rock face, sending him spiraling towards the ground.

The horrifying moment of impact is repeated several times from multiple angles during the video, which is played out over upbeat rock music.

Later scenes show Jeb Corliss deploying his emergency parachute as he realises something has gone wrong.

Jeb Corliss, who was wearing a camera mounted on his helmet during the stunt, then appears to bounce along the ground before coming to a halt in a bush.

A series of still images then show the moment of his impact in detail. They reveal how the experienced base jumper appeared to misjudge the distance to the rock face, which was marked by a helium balloon tied to a rucksack.

Instead of soaring over the cliff, he collides with the rocky outcrop from just below the waist.

Jeb Corliss almost died after crashing into a cliff during a botched leap from Table Mountain in South Africa

Jeb Corliss almost died after crashing into a cliff during a botched leap from Table Mountain in South Africa

Following the accident Table Mountain officials said it was a miracle that Jeb Corliss had survived after he fell around 200 feet from the 3,500 foot-high landmark.

The stunt man, who has made a name for himself as one of the world’s most daring base jumpers, was airlifted to hospital and needed surgery on both of his legs.

Michelle Norris, spokeswoman for the Christiaan Barnaard Hospital in Cape Town, today said he remained there under observation and was due to be discharged on Friday.

The spokeswoman said: “Mr. Corliss needed extensive surgery on his legs and also needed skin grafts to repair the damage. He suffered serious and injuries and remains in the hospital, although he has been making good progress in recovery.

“One of the reasons he is still with us is that we needed to check how the wounds would heal from the skin grafts, but we hope to be able to discharge him on Friday. After that he plans to return home immediately to America to be with his family.”

Jeb Corliss’ video record of the incident concludes by offering thanks to those who helped rescue him following the smash.

A screen entitled “Special Thanks”, reads: “To the hikers that gave me water, to the rescue team that gave me life, to the hospital and staff that put me back together, THANK YOU.”

Jeb Corliss’ botched Table Mountain leap came as he made a documentary for an American television network. The daredevil has previously made headlines with a string of other base jumps.

The extreme sport involves leaping from buildings or mountains with only a parachute or winged jumpsuit to aid the jumper’s landing. Jeb Corliss has previously made successful leaps from the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

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