Image: Mandela Statue Unveiled in South Africa Capital

Mandela Statue Unveiled in South Africa Capital

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 06:55 AM

 

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PRETORIA, South Africa — South Africa has unveiled a gigantic statue of anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela to cheers and singing at the Union Buildings in its capital.

The mood was joyous Monday in Pretoria as a military band played and fighter jets flew overhead to honor Mandela after 10 days of mourning over his death ended Sunday with his burial.

President Jacob Zuma presided over the unveiling, which preceded a party in celebration of the Day of Reconciliation, a national holiday.

The statue stands on the grounds of the Union Buildings, where Mandela delivered his inaugural speech after becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.

The buildings had been a hated symbol of the apartheid regime to many South Africans.

Mandela was buried Sunday at his ancestral home in the village of Qunu.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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