WATCH: Mandela statue unveiled at site of his first speech after being freed from prison
Cape Town - A statue of former president Nelson Mandela was unveiled on Tuesday at City Hall. The statue was placed on the exact spot where Madiba delivered his first speech after being released from prison in February 1990.
Among some of the guests invited were Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Miss South Africa 2018 winner Tamaryn Green, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille who used the opportunity to urge South Africans to keep Mandela’s legacy alive.
“Madiba standing on that balcony after 27 years in prison, symbolize the triumph of a generation of leaders that sacrificed everything for our freedom. That historic moment has now been captured in this life-sized monument. ” De Lille said. She said this statue is a fitting tribute to Mandela to remind South Africans of the sacrifices he made during the liberation struggle.
“May it also serve as a reminder that we must all strive to emulate his example of living in service to others for the betterment of our communities and country,” De Lille said.
The statue stands at 1.95 metres tall and weighs 120 kilograms. It was cast in bronze at Sculpting Casting Services in Strand. Mandela is wearing a grey suit identical to the one worn on the day and even his accessories, including a polka dot print tie, belt buckle and a white pocket square have been included as details. In his hand, he holds a page bearing the first paragraph from the speech. He is also holding a pair of spectacles in his hand.
The original design of the statue was made as a small maquette, and once the Provincial and City of Cape Town officials were happy with the design, it was 3D printed at full size in a foam that could be easily carved. The detail was then added using a kind of putty before the statue was cast in bronze.