R20m statues of Madiba, Tambo: eThekwini metro to consult families amid furore

2019-01-22 15:45
eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. (Gallo Images)

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede. (Gallo Images)

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The eThekwini municipality will first speak to families and follow other vital points of protocol before making announcements on statues of ANC stalwarts in the city, Mayor Zandile Gumede has said.

"We will soon make a formal and public announcement on this. First, we will have to consult with the premier's office, national government and the families before we give you feedback.

"It is important that protocol is observed when it comes to certain political decisions," she said on Tuesday during an executive committee (exco) meeting at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

She added that officials and politicians were accountable to the public.

"I just want to assure you the time will come when we will talk about the statues."

"But for now, I want the matter laid to rest until we follow proper protocol where we will tell about exact amounts and everything," she added.

Social media exploded last week when it was reported that R20m was set aside for two statues in eThekwini.

eNCA reported that the municipality awarded a tender of more than R20m to sculptor Lungelo Gumede for statues of late struggle stalwarts Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, expected to be unveiled later this year.

Thembinkosi Ngcobo, eThekwini head of parks, recreation and culture, told News24 that he could not yet comment on the matter. He said the municipality would hold a media conference about the statues.

The decision to erect the statues in Durban was approved by the City's executive committee a year ago.

According to the municipality's website, a report tabled at that meeting said the project would honour and pay tribute to those who fought apartheid and also "play a role in transforming the heritage landscape of the City and boost the local economy".

A proposed briefing on the statues was postponed indefinitely last week, pending the meeting of the exco.

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