Cecil John Rhodes statue - OkayAfrica

Statue of Cecil Rhodes, a prominent political figure and former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in South Africa.

Photo by: Edwin Remsberg / VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Supports Removal of Apartheid Statues

This past Heritage Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments 'glorifying' the country's 'divisive past' should be repositioned and relocated.

This past Thursday, South Africans once again celebrated Heritage Day. Naturally, conversations around conserving the heritage of Black South Africans were at the fore. In light of the Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the world following continued police brutality and discrimination towards Black people in America, many African countries have been confronted with their own stark realities—the public glorification of colonialists in the form of statues. Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that monuments "glorifying" the country's "divisive past" should be repositioned and relocated, according to EWN.

READ: Statue of Colonialist Cecil John Rhodes Found Beheaded

Putting his full weight behind an ongoing campaign to have statues of pro-Apartheid individuals removed, President Ramaphosa said:

"This has generated controversy, with some saying we are trying to erase our history. Building a truly non-racial society means being sensitive to the lived experiences of all this country's people. We make no apologies for this because our objective is to build a united nation."

Additionally, the head-of-state also declared that certain towns and cities would be renamed and that new statues and monuments would be erected to honour those who had fought against the segregationist regime.

According to BusinessTech, some of the suggestions include renaming East London to KuGompo, King William's Town to Qonce and The Berlin to Ntabozuko. The process to rename Cape Town International Airport has now 'reached the end' of its public response phase. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have especially fought for the airport to be named after anti-Apartheid veteran and activistWinnie Madikizela-Mandela.