South African officials have increased security in a national park in Cape Town after vandals cut off the nose of a bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes, who is seen by many South Africans as a symbol of racial oppression.

Merle Collins, a national parks spokeswoman, said Monday that the nose was probably removed with a power tool used for cutting and grinding early Friday at the Rhodes Memorial on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Table Mountain National Park.

Collins says staff have been cleaning graffiti scrawled on the monument. One slogan read: "Your dreams of empire will die."

In April, the University of Cape Town removed a statue of Rhodes on campus after protests by students who described it as an emblem of white privilege.