Zuma to unveil Mandela statue at Union Buildings
12 December 2013, 20:38
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma will unveil a 9m-high
bronze statue of former president Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in
Pretoria next week, the arts and culture department said on Thursday.
"The unveiling of the statue on 16 December [Monday]
is intended as acknowledgement of the contribution of the first president of a
democratic South Africa, a symbol of national reconciliation and unity,"
it said in a statement.
"Hopefully, it will become a site of pilgrimage for
domestic and international visitors."
Monday, which is the Day of Reconciliation, also marks
the commemoration of the centenary of the Union Buildings.
"The installation of Tata Madiba's statue at the
Union Buildings is part of the department's... ongoing work to develop new
symbols and monuments that reflect our collective aspirations as South Africans
and the new values we stand for," the department said.
Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last
Thursday, at the age of 95.
An official memorial service was held at FNB stadium, in
Soweto, on Tuesday.
His body has been lying in state at the Union Buildings
since Wednesday. He will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.
Zuma said at the memorial service on Tuesday that the
amphitheatre at the Union Buildings would be renamed the Nelson Mandela
Amphitheatre in his honour.