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Vandals cut off nose on bronze bust of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes in South African park

  • A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the  Table Mountain National Park near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town . (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the Table Mountain National Park near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town . (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the  Table Mountain National Park near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town .  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the Table Mountain National Park near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town . (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the  Table Mountain National Park, guarded bye a park official, right, near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town .  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, with it's nose vandalized in the Table Mountain National Park, guarded bye a park official, right, near the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. The bronze bust of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes lost its nose to vandals on Friday Sept. 18, 2015, who severed it with a power tool at a South African mountain slope overlooking Cape Town . (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

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.