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Cape Town - A 2.75m-tall statue of Nelson Mandela now stands on the spot in Washington DC where thousands of Americans were arrested in the 1980s for protesting against apartheid.
The statue, depicting Mandela as he walked out of Victor Verster Prison to freedom in February 1990, was unveiled outside the South African embassy in Washington DC at about 4pm South African time on Saturday.
South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, attended the unveiling in the US capital on Saturday, said department spokesman, Clayson Monyela.
He said that the South African Embassy in the US was a historic site of many protest marches by the Free South Africa Movement in the US, and would stand as a symbol of activism, freedom and democracy.
He said the statue was located in the Chancery wing, and resembled the statue that stands at the place where Mandela stepped to freedom at Victor Verster.
“The project has received a positive response from US citizens who see it as the completion of the golden triangle of the global civil rights movement, encompassing the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela,” Monyela said.
The idea was conceived in 2011 in recognition of 2012 as a year which focused on South Africa. Other events included the African Diaspora Summit and the centenary celebrations of the ANC. The highlight of the campaign was the celebration of the Life, Legacy and Values of Nelson Mandela, and ultimately the unveiling of the statue on Saturday.