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Nelson Mandela`s statue to be erected at Presidency

A statue of Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week, will be erected at the Presidency coming Monday, the South African government announced Thursday.

Johannesburg: A statue of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week at his residence at the age of 95, will be erected at the Presidency coming Monday, the South African government announced Thursday.

President Jacob Zuma will unveil the country`s former president`s statue at the Presidency (Union Buildings) Monday, Xinhua reported citing the Department of Arts and Culture in a statement. The bronze statue is nine-metre high.

"The installation of the 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 unveiling of the statue is intended as acknowledgement of the contribution of the first president of a democratic South Africa, a symbol of national reconciliation and unity," it added.

The department hopes that it may become a site of pilgrimage for domestic and international visitors.

Monday is the Day of Reconciliation in South Africa, which is held annually December 16 since the democracy was established in 1994, aimed at fostering the national unity.

Mandela`s body has been lying in state at the Presidency building since last Wednesday before being eventually buried at his home village of Qunu in the southern province of the Eastern Cape Sunday.

He was sworn in as the first democratically-elected president in May in 1994, succeeded by F. W. de Klerk in June in 1999.

On Tuesday the national memorial service for Mandela was held at the South African largest stadium of FNB Stadium here, attended by the officials of South Africa and 90 more countries as well as the international organisations like the United Nations, and the African Union.

From Zee News

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