Mandela statue mooted for Cape Town city hall

2013-06-13 08:56

A statue of former president Nelson Mandela may be erected in front of the Cape Town city hall where he delivered his first speech after being released from prison.

DA councillor Leonore van der Walt reportedly proposed at a council meeting yesterday that a naming committee be formed to discuss the process to be followed and funding, Cape Town daily, the Cape Times, reported today.

Councillor Andre Fourie warned that proper consultation should happen to avoid a “debacle” like that of the freedom of the city award given to US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, which drew criticism from some parts.

“That should not happen with a person with the stature of Mandela,” he was quoted as saying.

According to the report, ANC leader in the council Tony Ehrenreich called for a “coherent national policy” in honouring Mandela, otherwise the statue in Cape Town would be a DA “gimmick”, he said.

The process would reportedly cost about R1 million.

Meanwhile, international journalists stationed outside the Pretoria hospital where Mandela is receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection were warned about their equipment yesterday.

“Some broadcasters had some equipment which is not licensed,” said Icasa spokesperson Jubie Matlou.

Broadcasting equipment brought into the country had to be approved to prevent interference on frequencies used by local, licensed services, he said.

“Apparently what’s happened here, because of former president Mandela being ill, we have a lot of broadcasters coming into the country and bringing in equipment that has not been cleared,” Matlou said.

“So, our inspectors could have picked up interference and complained.”

He said Icasa issued the offenders with noncompliance warnings yesterday.

“They are being advised to have that equipment cleared with the authority. From tomorrow, we will be attending to those applications and helping them with what to do,” said Matlou.

An inspector would report back on the extent of the problem today and on how to mitigate and resolve it.

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