Mandela statue to be unveiled in December: Zuma

By Kirstin Buick
19 November 2013

A statue of Nelson Mandela will be unveiled at the Union Buildings by the end of the year, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday.

A statue of former president Nelson Mandela stands at the entrance to the Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton, Johannesburg on Thursday, 26 September 2013. A new statue of Mandela will be erected at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.This was part of a celebration for the building's 100-years of existence, said Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile during a news conference on Thursday. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

This would be part of the marking of the building's centenary.

Zuma was speaking in Houghton, at the official opening of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory's public facility and the permanent exhibition on the life and times of Mandela.

"These resources are an integral part of our nation's heritage," Zuma said.

"They are our nation's treasures and they indeed need to be preserved. [The centre] is making a major contribution to integrating liberation heritage and cultural heritage."

Zuma urged South Africans to continue the values for which Mandela stood in their everyday lives and not just on Mandela Day, when people are asked to give of their time to help others.

He said exhibitions about Mandela's life were under way in Paris, France and in Washington, in the US.

"The exhibition continues to attract record attendances, proving once more that Tata [Mandela] is indeed a global icon," Zuma said.

"We are doing these things to thank people of the world for standing with us against apartheid."

He wished Mandela well in his recuperation at home.

Earlier this year, Mandela spent almost three months in hospital for a recurring lung infection before being discharged on 1 September to continue receiving treatment at home.

Nelson Mandela Foundation trustee Tokyo Sexwale said the centre was dependent on donations and he asked South Africans to contribute what they could.

"This legacy needs to live forever. A time will come when Madiba has to go, but the name lives on.

"Forget the millions of dollars [from other funders]; every cent counts."

Regional radio station Kaya FM, the British soccer club Sunderland, clothing company Edcon and the US Embassy had joined the centre as new sponsors.

The centre, which contains archives collected by the former president's foundation over the years, will be open to the public.

The exhibition includes a view of Mandela's old office, a number of the publications in which he’s been published, the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 1993 and a number of other artefacts.

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