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South Africa house gets replica of Mandela bronze

London, UK - South Africa House in Trafalgar Square was yesterday presented with a miniature replica of the world's first public statue of Nelson Mandela – the original being a six-metre bronze statue, that was recently unveiled in the newly renamed Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City in Johannesburg, the business hub of South Africa.

Like the statue that now dominates Nelson Mandela Square (formerly Sandton Square), the 51-cm miniature version also depicts Nelson Mandela doing his famous 'Madiba Jive'.

At today's official handover ceremony, attended by celebrities, government officials, business representatives, international tourist operators and media, the miniature statue was presented to Her Excellency, Lindiwe Mabuza, South Africa's High Commissioner in London.

"South Africa House is delighted to accept this miniature of the marvellous statue of Nelson Mandela, erected in Sandton, Johannesburg," said Mabuza. "Having captured Madiba in dancing pose, the South African sculptors, Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane, have brought out his deep humanity, indomitable spirit, warmth and sense of celebration - qualities for which he is loved and admired in South Africa and around the world."
In his keynote address, Gary Vipond, centre manager for Nelson Mandela Square, said that the statue at Nelson Mandela Square honoured the "values that shaped South Africa's democracy and inspired the launch of the African Renaissance".

"The dancing stance of the statue mirrors the spirit of joy and celebration inherent in the people of South Africa," stated Vipond, adding that a donation box recently installed at the Nelson Mandela Square enabled visitors to make monetary contributions to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Liberty Properties, owner and manager of the Nelson Mandela Square, set the ball rolling with a R50 000 donation at the statue unveiling in South Africa.

"We hope that by creating a public focus, and honouring Mr Mandela with a majestically towering six metre statue at home that we can all literally look up to – and an equally regal replica here at Trafalgar Square - it will serve to inspire South Africans and our international friends long into the future," he remarked.

The original statue that casts its 'Madiba Magic' over Nelson Mandela Square at Sandton City was unveiled on 31 March this year, not only to celebrate South Africa's milestone decade of democracy, but also the Square's 10th birthday.

Already about 15 percent of the 12 million people who frequent the Square annually are international travellers. Representatives of SA's tourism organizations are positive about the potential impact the statue will have as a must see tourist destination.

Ndileka Mandela, Nelson Mandela's eldest grandchild who unveiled the statue at the launch in South Africa, said she was extremely impressed by the statue. "I think it's wonderful that our people want to honour and remember him. The statue looks exactly like my granddad. The sculptors have even captured his spirit."

Editorial contact

Tin Can Communications on behalf of Nelson Mandela Square

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