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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.



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