How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid


How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid

The De Beers founder  wasn’t simply a man of his time, argues  Peter Lewis, but a self-serving lone wolf who used his power to violate the human rights of South Africans and tear away at the rule of law in December, at the height of the Oxford Union debate on the Rhodes Must Fall controversy, public intellectual Will Hutton wrote a letter to The Guardian in which he commented on the call for the removal of the Rhodes statue from the façade of Rhodes’s alma mater and philanthropic beneficiary, Oxford’s Oriel College.

In his letter, Hutton approves of the fact that college authorities had instituted a six-month inquiry into the matter, but he points out that they cannot expunge Rhodes from the history of the college, or from history in general. He acknowledges Rhodes’s “flawed” liberal imperialism and racism, but against this balances his philanthropy, and the “values” which he bequeathed to South Africa and the world. These, he asserts, are “checked and balanced government, freedom of the press, presumption of innocence and the rule of law”.

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Submitted by : John Gerard Clarke on 2016-02-26 09:09:11
I look forward to the continuation of Peter Lewis' argument, hoping he will tell of the first major setbacks to Rhodes' imperial [and personal] ambitions, dealt by the Pondo King Sigcau who Rhodes imprisoned without trial in 1895. King Sigcau won his release in August 1895 thanks to a Supreme Court challenge to Rhodes' intensifying hubris. Chief Justice de Villiers strongly censured Rhodes, but alas he was too far gone in his power addiction. Four months later the Jameson fiasco occurred and Rhodes had to resign as Cape PM.
Given the anti-colonial sentiment now rising I don't understand why historians are still failing to give credit to the amaMpondo King and his legal team for bringing the first bridle to Rhodes and to the fact that #rhodesmustfall movement did not start at UCT in March 2015 but in August 1895 in Pondoland when the Lancashire missionary Reverend Peter Hargraves who had been a close friend of King Sigcau remarked to Chief Magistriate Standford "Mister Rhodes will have a fall. He has treated Sigcau unrighteously. He will have a fall".
See my book www.thepromiseofjustice.co.za, for the full story.

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