The unveiling of a statue of former president Nelson Mandela in Bloemfontein has been postponed until the day before the opening of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung, a city official said on Tuesday.
This was the second postponement of the unveiling of the eight metre high statue in the small, Naval Hill nature reserve, which is surrounded by the city.
Last time, it was postponed to accommodate senior ANC party officials and other guests closer to the party’s elective conference. Preparations for the occasion had been going on for some time.
Mangaung mayor Thabo Manyoni and local businessman Freddie Kenney signed the documents officially acknowledging the donation of the statue during a council meeting on November 29. Kenney donated the statue to the municipality and the residents of Mangaung.
Municipal spokesman Qondile Khedama confirmed that security officials had been instructed to keep the public and the media away from the artwork until the official unveiling on December 14.
Kenney told metro councillors the statue was a form of gratitude to the popular former statesman for the work he had done for the country.
The statue would overlook the city from a platform on the crest of Naval Hill, the surrounds of which had been cleaned and redesigned by landscape artists. - Sapa