Zuma unveils Mandela statue

By admin
16 December 2013

President Jacob Zuma unveiled a 9 m tall Nelson Mandela statue in Pretoria.

A smiling Nelson Mandela stands nine metres tall, looking out over and embracing the city of Pretoria with outstretched arms.

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President Jacob Zuma unveiled the bronze-plated statue at the Union Buildings on Monday, a day after the former president was buried in Qunu.

"We are happy that we are here. You will notice that in all the statues that have been made of Madiba, he is raising his fist and at times stretching it. That derives from the slogan of the ANC," Zuma said. "This one is different from many. He is stretching out his hands. He is embracing the whole nation. You shouldn't say this is not Madiba because we know him with his one (raised) hand."

The R8 million bronze-plated statue was created by South African sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren. It is close to the Union Buildings' lawns, overlooking Arcadia.

Monday, the Day of Reconciliation, also marked the centenary of the Union Buildings. Thousands of people packed a giant marquee erected on the lawns for the public holiday. Zuma would deliver the keynote address.

The unveiling ceremony was slightly delayed as the dignitaries waited for the arrival of members of Mandela's family travelling from Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela arrived accompanied by two family members.

Zuma arrived soon afterwards with his wife Thobeka Madiba Zuma. Dignitaries, including former president Thabo Mbeki, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, and Dali Tambo, head of Koketso Growth, which made the statue, were present.

Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Democratic Alliance federal chairman Wilmot James were also in attendance.

Ten other Mandela statues:

& Howick, Kwa-Zulu Natal – The Mandela Capture Monument was built on the spot where Mandela was arrested on 5 August 1962

& Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, Johannesburg – Unveiled in March 2003, the bronze statue stands six metres tall and weighs 2, 5 tons.

& Groot Drakenstein Correctional Centre, Paarl – A bronze statue of Mandela stands just outside the prison, which was formerly known as Victor Verster Prison. Mandela was released from the prison on 11 February 1990.

& Nelson Mandela statue, SA Embassy in Washington, US – A replica of the statue outside Groot Drakenstein prison was erected outside the SA embassy in Washington in September this year.

& Naval Hill, Bloemfontein – The 6, 5 m statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled in December last year.

& Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mthatha, Eastern Cape – a statue of Mandela and a child was raised outside the hospital.

& Parliament Square, London, UK – The bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled on 29 August 2009.

& Donkin Reserve, Port Elizabeth – The Voting Line sculpture includes a Mandela figure as well as a 38 m long metal sculpture of South Africans connected together in a line.

& The Hague, -- The Nelson Mandela statue was unveiled by retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu on 25 September 2012.

& Nobel Square, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town – A statue of Mandela stands alongside those of Nkosi Albert Luthuli, retired archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former State President F. W. de Klerk.

-SAPA and Petro-Anne Vlok

Sources: sa-venues.com, sawip.org, nobelsquare.com, timeslive.co.za, mg.co.za, news24.com

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