New Madiba bust for Parliament

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pretoria - Freedom Day celebrations continued on Monday with President Jacob Zuma unveiling a bust honouring the first democratically elected president of the country, Nelson Mandela.

The 2.28 metre-high statue of the smiling Mandela is looking towards the gates of Parliament - opposite the steps of the National Assembly in Cape Town.

A bust of former President Nelson Mandela will be unveiled at Parliament later this month.

Unveiling the bronze bust on a granite plinth, which also coincided with the launch of the 20 years of a democratic Parliament programme, President  Zuma said the statue shows how far South Africa's democracy has come and that Parliament has now been transformed.

“The unveiling of this bust confirms that our Parliament, which was once a symbol of white domination, has now been transformed into a progressive institution that upholds the values of unity, equality, freedom and the dignity of all South Africans,” said President Zuma.

The statue, he said, was also an affirmation that Parliament would continue to promote Mandela's legacy.

“By unveiling this statue, Parliament is declaring that we will continue to walk in Tata's footsteps, that we will continue to draw lessons and inspiration from his exemplary life and that we will continue to honour his memory,” he said.

President Zuma also paid tribute to former president FW de Klerk who also attended the unveiling.

According to President Zuma, as the last president of apartheid South Africa, De Klerk had put the country first, and had played a pivotal role in averting a disaster in South Africa.

"Through him we were able to make a breakthrough to create the conditions for our new democracy."

President Zuma also used the occasion to urge South Africans to be inspired by Tata’s spirit and to celebrate democracy and freedom by voting in the May 7 general election.

“May the spirit of Tata Madiba continue to inspire us all as we continue to build a truly non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa, one nation, and one people…we urge our people to come out in their millions to celebrate democracy and freedom by casting their votes.”

The unveiling ceremony, which was attended by the Mandela family members, was followed by a mass thanksgiving and prayer meeting at the Good Hope Centre.

The former statesman passed away in December last year. -

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