By Makoma Phaladi
World icon and South Africa’s first black president, the late Nelson Mandela will never be forgotten in many parts of the world. A giant statue of Madiba was donated by the City of Johannesburg and was unveiled by Palestinians yesterday at the city of Ramallah.
Mayor of Johannesburg Tau Parks was there to witness the historic day of the unveiling of the statue. The statue was reported to be 6m 2tons and had taken South African artists at least 7 months to complete. Parks told News24 that the Madiba statue was a symbol of hope and inspiration for the people of Palestine to realise their freedom, having overcome apartheid in SA with support of the international communities and that it is natural to extend our Ubuntu principles as South Africans and indeed stand in solidarity with those nations currently experiencing political and humanitarian unrests.
A day after Madiba’s funeral at his home town president Jacob Zuma unveiled another statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria standing on the spot where Madiba was inaugurated as SA’s first democratically president in 1994.
Another statue is erected in Nelson Mandela square, Sandton City, this statue remains a tourists attract in the middle of SA’s popular shopping centres.
The newly unveiled statue in Ramallah sits facing the president’s palace and only meters away from the Apartheid Wall which is a reminder for the Palestinians about how they were restricted to move around in their own land. Where it has been unveiled has now been changed to the name Nelson Mandela Square.
Ramallah’s mayor, Mousa Hadid stated that the unveiling of the statue would now become a national day in the country as it unites people of Palestine and SA. The first ever statue of Madiba was unveiled by his eldest grandchild Ndileka Mandela celebrating 10 years anniversary of SA’s first democratic election in Sandton Square, internationally the “grandfather” of the nation’s other statue is at Parliament Square in London and sits alongside other iconic figures including Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.