Rhodes was a diamond mining magnate and a rampant British imperialist. He was one of two men who established the infamous De Beers Consolidated Mines, in which he owned the largest interest. He also served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896 and his company founded the southern African territory of Rhodesia (which was actually named after him)
During the time he was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony he introduced an Act to force black people off their own lands and raised franchise property requirements to force black people out of self enfranchisement in order to force them into hard manual labour to serve other ‘industries’.
He was also one of the people involved in creating the Natives Land Act, 1913, which restricted black Africans from settling in over 90% of their own lands and then he introduced a ‘Hut Tax’ which meant they also had to pay taxes for the privilege of living on their own land.
Rhodes expressed his views openly..
“the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa.”