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Palestine unveils Madiba statue

By Faeza
27 April 2016

It was an historic day for the city of Ramallah in Palestine on Tuesday after a six-metre statue of former SA president, Nelson Mandela, was unveiled.

The unveiling came after Ramallah mayor, Mousa Hadid, held a joint press briefing with the City of Johannesburg in central West Bank.

Johannesburg mayor, Parks Tau, said the Madiba statue was “a symbol of hope and inspiration for the people of Palestine to realise their freedom”.

“Having overcome apartheid in South Africa with support of the international community, it is natural to extend our ubuntu principles as Africans and indeed stand in solidarity with those nations currently experiencing various forms of political and humanitarian unrests,” Tau said.

Symbol of solidarity

The statue, a donation from Johannesburg to Ramallah, represents a symbol of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

The six-metre high bronze statue, located at the Nelson Mandela Square in the neighbourhood of Al-Tireh, is the work of South African artists Tania Lee, Christina Salvoldi and Lungisa Kala. It was shipped to Palestine a month ago.

Hadid said the unveiling would be celebrated as a national day because the statue of Nelson Mandela “unites the people of Palestine and South Africa”.

“The statue is the first step towards strengthening relations between Johannesburg and Ramallah. We look forward to more steps being taken to enhance this relationship further – particularly as the people of Palestine associate Mr Mandela with hope, freedom and dignity,” Hadid said.

Hadid heaped praise on Tau, saying he hoped the relations between both cities would prosper.

City-to-city relations

“We don't want relations to end here. Ramallah and the people of Palestine have a lot to learn from Johannesburg and the whole of South Africa.”

The unveiling comes after a mission led by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) visited Ramallah in November 2014.

The purpose of that visit was to attend the International Conference of Local Authorities in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The visit culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Johannesburg and Ramallah in Salga’s bid to promote international city-to-city relations and collaborations.

Source: News24