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9m tall Madiba statue unveiled

16 December 2013, 17:28

Pretoria - A 9m high statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled on Monday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, a day after the anti-apartheid icon’s funeral in Qunu.

The unveiling of the bronze statue was delayed on Monday when dignitaries had to wait for members of the Mandela family.

Minutes later, Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela walked down the red carpet to the VIP marquee.

President Jacob Zuma arrived soon afterwards with his wife Thobeka Madiba Zuma.

Several dignitaries, including former president Thabo Mbeki, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, and Dali Tambo, head of Koketso Growth, which made the statue, were present.

Many local and international journalists were nearby. Broadcasting equipment had been set up on the lawns of the Union Buildings.

Zuma is due to unveil the nine-meter-high statue of Mandela on Monday morning. The R8m statue was created by South African sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren.

"The unveiling, taking place just a day after the burial of the former president, signals the start of celebrating and living the late Madiba's legacy and the end of the mourning period," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Sunday.

"The statue is expected to draw large numbers of people to the Union Buildings."

Monday, the Day of Reconciliation, marks the centenary of the Union Buildings.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, aged 95, on December 5. He was buried in his childhood village of Qunu on Sunday.



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