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The Statue

The day after the state funeral of former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, a larger than life statue of him was unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

It is a bronze statue of Nelson Mandela with outstretched arms overlooking the magnificent well kept gardens. The gesture may be interpreted as an appeal to all people to come together but the artist considered the gesture as a sign of reconciliation and also one of bestowing a blessing.

The National Heritage council commissioned the statue in June 2013 to commemorate the centenary of the Union Buildings.

André Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren were the artists who created the statue and the project was overseen by Dali Thabo the son of Oliver Thambo who was Mandela's partner when they first started out as young attorneys in Johannesburg.

  • Cost: R8-million
  • Height: 9 meters, (the tallest of the figure statues of Mandela
  • Width: 8 meters from fingertip to fingertip
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Weight: 3.5 tons plus 800 kg of stainless steel that makes up the internal framework

The Union Buildings

The Union Buildings is the seat of the South African government and is the location of the President's offices. It is build in 3 sections with offices on the left, the amphitheatre in the centre and more offices on the right.

The architecture of this building is Neoclassicism of Italian Renaissance, with Cape Dutch and Edwardian style detail and and was designed and constructed by Architect Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913.

The building is 285m in length, 100m wide and 60m

This site has been declared a national heritage site by President Jacob Zuma.

These impressive buildings can be found in Meintjieskop in Pretoria in close proximity to the Voortrekker monument and is the most popular tourist attraction in the city.

The public do not have access to the interior of the building for security reasons as the presidential offices are housed there but the gardens are accessible to the public.

It was in these gardens that the former president Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president on 10 May 1994.

What to see in the gardens

  • magnificent views of the city
  • statues of former presidents
  • memorials such as the South African Police Memorial and a war memorial
  • celebrations on national holidays

Visiting

Daily

Admission

 Free

 

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