Rabbit discovered in Mandela statue

2014-01-18 14:10

Johannesburg - A rabbit hidden in the newly erected Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings had the department of arts and culture baffled, Beeld newspaper reported on Saturday.

The sculptors of the 9 metre bronze-plated statue, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, secretly added the rabbit to the work, according to the report.

The duo told the newspaper the rabbit was a "small trademark" of their work after the department did not allow them to engrave their signatures on the statue trousers.

They said it also represented the tight deadline they were working under as rabbit in Afrikaans "haas" also meant haste.

"The time factor was big and at times we had to work hard," Prinsloo said.

Prinsloo said the "small symbol" was hidden in the ear and it did not take anything away from the statue.

"You need a long lens or binoculars to see it," he said.

"During the moulding process a lot of people had seen the statue up close and nobody noticed it."

Department spokesperson Mack Lewele told the newspaper he was not aware of the addition to the statue and it would investigate the matter.

"We can't comment until we have seen it with our own eyes," Lewele said.

Lewele did not say whether the department would consider removing the rabbit.

  • Marion Brown - 2014-01-18 14:15

    Before the ANC gets all shirty about this, I must point out that this is done by many artists. There is a cathedral in America with a small mouse sculpted on top of the columns somewhere and other instances which I have read about.

      Solv Ex - 2014-01-18 15:34

      So artist are like rabits if all use it!

      Anwar Khan Photo's - 2014-01-18 15:53

      do you think that they know this...they will attach some voodoo to it and have that statue removed....and spend another good few millions making another one.....which image of nelson mandela is used on the bank notes? who complains....this image does not resemble our great president.....

      Ray Priestley - 2014-01-18 16:05

      I heard about this on CapeTalk about a month ago.The presenter phoned one of the sculptors and he confirmed it.How can this be "new"? if we already "knew"?

      Nico van der Merwe - 2014-01-18 17:28

      They should have put an owl in his ear as he listened to wisdom. Leave the rabbit symbolism for the Zuma statues. Our president with 22 (?) children.

      Elimu - 2014-01-18 18:45

      Heaven knows if it had been a black artist at least half of those likes would have been people using terms like "Unqualified", "Uneducated", "Undignified"... being factual here.

      NoeNoe - 2014-01-18 22:46

      There are a lot of people that I would like to give a flea in the ear!

      Gluteus Maximus - 2014-01-19 05:19

      Maybe its there because Mandela was good with a rabbit punch in his boxing days.

      Elimu - 2014-01-19 11:37

      Fine, not fact. My opinion based from observation.

      Nick Andrews - 2014-01-21 14:33

      Elimu, sadly i have to agree with you. The blind racism on this website is disturbing to say the least.

  • Jacks Daniels - 2014-01-18 14:16

    And then????

  • Freda Coetzee - 2014-01-18 14:22

    All artists sign their work. ?????

      Bonanza Phiri - 2014-01-18 14:32

      Artist/s have right to sign their work.

  • Faith Holmes Tarby - 2014-01-18 14:22

    Mandela would approve xxxxxxxxxxx

      Themba Maseko - 2014-01-22 15:11

      Mandela this, Mandela that, we simply do not know. If someone added something without agreement, plus here we are talking about a rabbit that would naturally not live, fit or stay in a normal human being ear , then this is completely unacceptable!!!

  • Grace Andtruth - 2014-01-18 14:24

    What a bunch of morons!!! Have an enquiry, probe, 200 meetings etc... About a rabbit no one has or will ever see!!!

      Lee Ferreira - 2014-01-18 14:35

      At the tax payers expense off course, what else?

  • Rali Sydney - 2014-01-18 14:25

    so this whole weekend we will be talking about a bunny on the ear? cant they just remove the damn bunny and continue with life? we have serious issues like nkangla to deal with.

      John Loveland - 2014-01-18 15:46

      Leave the bunny where it is...

  • Jacques Kleinhans - 2014-01-18 14:27

    The department should have given them their due since it is a form of art and it takes a lot of skill and effort to make something like that. Keep the mark there, it doesn't hinder anyone.

  • Trudi Roos Potter - 2014-01-18 14:30

    A rabbit is a "haas". The artist had to do this with very little time. Haastig. Therefore the haas.

      Arno De Kock - 2014-01-18 16:16

      Rabbit is ''konyn'' in Afrikaans, haas is ''hare''

  • Lennart Svensson - 2014-01-18 14:48

    It time for a "Presidential commission" let by Mac.

  • Philip van der Westhuizen - 2014-01-18 14:49

    Whats wrong with that? Everyone needs a trademark!!!!

  • Pindie Pindz Pearl Manala - 2014-01-18 14:54


  • Carla Smith - 2014-01-18 15:01

    Come on, surely there are more important things to worry about. If anything, this will add an element of character to the work of art and be a talking point for tours and such.

  • Andre Kruger - 2014-01-18 15:10

    The little rabbit is exactly the same as the lettterbox slot in the leg of the same statue where letters can be posted which cannot be retrieved! Its part of the artists ' creativity and freedom to express themselves in art. It contributes to the uniqueness of the artists interpretation of the task given. If they are not allowed any expression of freedom get an engineer to print a 3d model!

  • Kevin Ramsamy - 2014-01-18 15:11

    So cool

  • Fredrich Pieter de Wet - 2014-01-18 15:29

    If the contract was given to our fellow african comrades, they would have been still busy!!! Eish! Thanks to the Afrikaner!! Ironic how many Afrikaners Mandela employed and not his fellow comrades in his personal life!!!

  • Jimmy James - 2014-01-18 15:52

    By removing the rabbit might cause a crack on the forehead of the statue....please let be.

  • Mohammed Mustaque Ballim - 2014-01-18 15:55

    "Rabbit discovered in Mandela statue" is there a rabbit in the statue or on ?? Or better yet ...who cares ?? Better a rabbit than a rhino.

      Louis - 2014-01-18 16:50

      maybe its the opposite of "don't touch me on my studio"?

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-01-19 10:04

      ''don't touch me on my bunny''...

  • Di - 2014-01-18 16:03

    And now they're gonna spend R3 million to remove it??????

  • Holden Gardner-Caulfield - 2014-01-18 16:40

    For Cape Talk and 702 listeners this is old news.

  • Lindokuhle Mhlongo - 2014-01-18 16:41

    leave the rabbit alone. there are more important things to do.

      Ding Bat - 2014-01-18 17:17

      Leave the rabbit alone. Leave our street names alone

      Potzo Merwe - 2014-01-18 19:04

      sure Njoms

  • Deirdre Erasmus Delport - 2014-01-18 17:12

    Come on Poeple. Google the Rabbits symbolic connection to the ANC. Plenty to read about and plenty to debate about.

  • KGF - 2014-01-18 18:10

    The way the headline was written it sounded like they found a live rabbit.

  • Famida Nana - 2014-01-18 18:33

    All artists sign their work in some or other form. Why deny these people.

  • Lunetic Mental - 2014-01-18 19:11

    That rabbit will be dead soon

  • Selby Sello Rasoesoe - 2014-01-18 19:23

    What is the fuss about the rabbit. Give the guys some credit. They want to related to it. They were so respectful that they actually hid it. Big up.

  • Selby Sello Rasoesoe - 2014-01-18 19:26

    Then what you have any.statue for Uncle Bob?

  • Martin Bekker - 2014-01-18 20:12

    Leave the Rabbit alone ,,you see what happened at Marikana mine protest,if you screw with the bunny,,Eish

  • johan.steyn.1447 - 2014-01-18 21:44

    @ Binnegoed That is why you have no original art at home. Your stupid car has a badge but the artist is not allowed to add his name or signature. That statue is hollow on the inside. The budget did not cater for a solid one. Imagine what is engraved on the inside....

  • West Rob - 2014-01-19 06:11

    If I remember correctly Barclays Bank in the `80`s or thereabouts were involved in a controversy about having a rabbit designed into their acacia tree logo. This was later redesigned without the rabbit. Was n`t there a rabbit also involved at Marikana? I know rabbits breed like there`s no tomorrow and the ANC encouraged their followers to out breed the whites, something that continues to this day. We must definitely inquire into this, probe it, investigate it, set up a commission, maybe even a judicial commission, a committee or two, then fire someone, remove the statue, replace it, blame apartheid, the whites, a third force, Jews and Indians and finally incorporate all this into pre-election speeches. Nothing less will do, except perhaps apologies from everybody, apologising to the Muslim community, asking China for more money and demanding a permanent seat in the UN security council.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-01-19 09:26

      agree with you...

  • Jimmy James - 2014-01-19 07:04

    This rabbit has to report to madiba all the wrong doings by the ANC leadership.

  • Shivi Shanda - 2014-01-19 08:07

    I think the ANC should instruct a new artist to make another sculpture. What the heck not its only more millions of Rands wasted.

      parryvanrooyen - 2014-01-20 08:19

      For what possible reason do we need to waste more of our precious tax money? The statue is done and installed. If these guys were not allowed to sign their own work (probably so that the ANC could lie and say it was made by someone else), then they should certainly be allowed to do something that discreetly shows that this is their work of art.

      parryvanrooyen - 2014-01-20 08:19

      For what possible reason do we need to waste more of our precious tax money? The statue is done and installed. If these guys were not allowed to sign their own work (probably so that the ANC could lie and say it was made by someone else), then they should certainly be allowed to do something that discreetly shows that this is their work of art.

  • - 2014-01-19 08:24

    Why is this even news?

  • Desmond Webster - 2014-01-19 08:36

    It's not a rabbit is a hare in his ear.Most people have hairs in their ears!

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-01-19 09:24

      I like....

      Luthando ZaZa Nomzaza - 2014-01-19 13:54

      lol. . . Nice one brother!

  • Margaret Cox - 2014-01-19 09:09

    I think Mr Mandela would have been quite amused by the rabbit - he had a sense of humour! Unlike many others I could mention...

  • Gary Maggz - 2014-01-19 09:28


  • Shamus Mossop - 2014-01-19 09:37

    At least they delivered on their contract and on time.... Show me other government contracts that have done the same...

  • Jack Rabid - 2014-01-19 09:53

    yay for the HAAS

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2014-01-19 11:34

    Phew! For a moment I thought a live rabbit found a nice home. I can sleep easy.

  • Phil Flaan - 2014-01-19 12:23

    Nevermind the little bunny, if I hear the name Mandela again soon I will scream. Can't we just move on and concentrate on important things instead of keep on dwelling in the past. It seems that there is so little in some people's life to keep them busy that they have to cling to things that are over and done. Africa is slowly falling to pieces but they keep on bla-bla-ing about one man. Concentrating on the present and trying to fix things will have a more positive effect than to try and push a dead man down everybody's throat all the time.

  • kelvin.smith.3956690 - 2014-01-19 15:19

    Is there nothing better to report!!!!

  • Martin Bekker - 2014-01-21 10:13

    Leave the Rabbit alone ,,you see what happened at the Marikana mine protest when the bunny was harmed ,,

  • Karin Steenkamp - 2014-01-22 06:08

    Having read The Long Walk to Freedom just recently, I find the use of the reference to the term "haas" quite shocking. To Madiba, it was a word used by his jailers on Robin Island when he was going through the hardest days of his life. They where treated like non-humans, and told to "haas, haas" while being subjected to the the most degrading treatment and abuse. As an Afrikaans speaking person, I find this insensitivity to Mandela's story baffling and disappointing.

  • Retha Heymann - 2014-01-22 14:44

    Perhaps this could remind one of the small dog on the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. ("The experts who studied, cleaned and gently brought the frescoes back to their original colors say they discovered new details, including inside jokes, like a small white dog who makes cameo appearances throughout the frescoes" and "the dog was probably a mascot of the artists." Find this by searching for nytimes and "With Their Vivid Colors, Spruced-Up Frescoes Brighten the Sistine Chapel")

  • Lovemore Nyatsine - 2014-01-23 15:27

    A Hare Raising BIG Fuss: A Small Trademark Wrecks a National Monument

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