Honouring Madiba: South Africa Unveils Nelson Mandela’s Unity Statue In Pretoria (PHOTOS)
The South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday December 16th 2013 unveiled a nine-metre bronze statue of Nelson Mandela with his arms outstretched to symbolise unity and reconciliation.
The 4.5 tonne statue of Mandela is the largest created in the world and was inaugurated on the lawn of South Africa’s hilltop ‘Union Buildings’, the seat of the central government, overlooking the capital Pretoria. The Union Buildings is the same place Mandela’s swearing in as president took place nearly two decades ago.
The Union Buildings is also the place Mandela’s body lay in state for three days last week before moved to Qunu for the funeral.
President Zuma unveiling the statue said, “We laid Tata to rest in Qunu only yesterday and today Monday, he rises majestically at the seat of government, as a symbol of peace, reconciliation, unity and progress.
Tata is the Xhosa word for father, and Mandela is revered as the father of the new South Africa born at the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became its first black president.
The inauguration coincided with December 16 reconciliation day, commemorating the ideal of racial and political reconciliation that Mandela preached after his release in 1990 from 27 years in apartheid prisons.