Massive Mandela statue unveiled in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – A day after the burial of Nelson Mandela, South Africans observed the annual Day of Reconciliation without the man who made it all possible.

PANA reports that the day, marked with a national public holiday, commemorates the Battle of Blood River and the formation of Mandela’s uMkhonto weSizwe – the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

In 1995, shortly after Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first democratically-elected leader, the anniversary became the Day of Reconciliation.

While special events took place around the country on Monday, the highlight was the unveiling of an enormous statue of Mandela at the Union Buildings where he took his oath of office nearly two decades ago and where he lay in state last week.

“The unveiling, taking place just a day after the burial of the former president signals the beginning of celebrating and living the late Madiba’s legacy and the end of the mourning period,” said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.

The nine-metre high statue shows a smiling Mandela with his arms stretched out and looking out over the capital city Pretoria.

Unveiling the bronze-plated statue, President Jacob Zuma said it showed Mandela embracing the whole nation.

The US$ 800,000 statue was created by South African sculptors, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 16Dec2013

16 december 2013 14:46:29

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