Ramaphosa to unveil Mandela statue at UN HQ on Heritage Day

While South Africans celebrate Heritage Day on home soil on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa will extend the country's historic legacy by unveiling a statue of late president Nelson Mandela at the UN headquarters in New York.

Ramaphosa jetted in to the Big Apple at the weekend, to join a number of world leaders as he leads a delegation on a working visit to the city for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Ramaphosa will unveil the statue together with the UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Mandela's widow Graça Machel and two of his daughters will attend the unveiling, as well as National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who was also in New York for the unveiling, wished citizens a happy Heritage Day.

"This is a great opportunity for us not only to teach our counterparts about our heritage, but to learn more and create a better understanding of each other's customs, cultural values & practices," he said on his Twitter account.

Mthethwa on Monday would be visiting the house where the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banished to in Brandfort, Free State in the 1970s. The visit was part of a promise to restore "House number 802" following criticism that it had fallen into disrepair.

Acting President David Mabuza would lead heritage celebrations at the Riverview Stadium in Kokstad on Monday, under the theme: "The year of Nelson Mandela: Advancing transformation of South Africa's heritage landscape".

In Gauteng, DA leader Mmusi Maimane was celebrating the day at the Codesa walkway in Kempton Park, where multi-party negotiations took place that culminated in the abolishment of apartheid.

Maimane called on citizens to continue building on the legacy of those who took part in the negotiations.

South Africans had a bit of fun on social media by sharing what the day meant to them and what they were wearing.

User @Thabisokale3 posted a picture of buckets of Umqombothi (traditional beer), with the caption: "It doesn't get more heritage than this".

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