The Rhodes Memorial
Andrew Cusack - 15 August 2009
PERCHED AMID THE bluegum trees on the slopes of Devil’s Peak in Cape Town is the memorial to one of the most brilliant & cunning men the world has ever produced. Cecil John Rhodes may have been born in Bishop’s Stortford, England, but his worldly glories all emanated from the Cape of Good Hope, and so it’s appropriate that his memorial stands here in Cape Town. His first commercial enterprise in South Africa was founding the Rhodes Fruit Farms (now Rhodes Food Group) which still exist on the road from Stellenbosch to Franschoek, and has since expanded throughout the Western Cape, and to the Transvaal and Swaziland. But it was his creation of the diamond monopoly De Beers out of the Kimberley mines that made him one of the wealthiest men in the world. Ten years after being elected to the Cape Parliament, he was made Prime Minister of the Cape in 1890, but his catastrophic and illegal attempt to seize the independent Transvaal in 1895 forced his resignation from politics in disgrace.