PREPARATIONS: Land is being cleared at the site in Howick where Nelson Mandela was captured, to prepare for the unveiling of the sculpture -- numerous precision cut steel rods.

KwaZulu-Natal - An iconic sculpture of Nelson Mandela will be officially unveiled on Saturday in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his capture by the apartheid police.

Designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli, the sculpture stands 10m tall and is made from 50 steel columns anchored in a concrete base.

The image of Mandela comes to focus and is visible when one stands about 35m from the sculpture.

The steel columns were spray painted with a black etch primer, which will fade after two years and the columns will turn to a deep rust colour.

The site where Mandela was arrested now forms part of the Freedom Route, with the provincial government pumping millions to develop it into a tourism drawcard.

Just more than R4 million was spent buying a farm opposite the “capture site” with more than R2m spent on feasibility, traffic assessment and environment studies.

It was here that Mandela was arrested on August 5, 1962, before spending 27 years in prison.

He would later write in his autobiography, the Long Walk to Freedom: “At Cedara, a small town just past Howick, I noticed a Ford V8 filled with white men shoot past us on the right.

“I instinctively turned round to look behind and I saw two more cars filled with white men. Suddenly, in front of us the Ford was signalling to us to stop.

“I knew in that instant that my life on the run was over; my 17 months of ‘freedom’ were about to end.”

President Jacob Zuma and Premier Zweli Mkhize are among the dignitaries expected to attend the event on Saturday. - Daily News