Palestinians of the city of Ramallah erected a 20-foot statue of former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela on 26th April.
The Mayor of Ramallah, Mousa Hadid had previously held a press meeting with the city of Johannesburg in central West bank before the statue was unveiled.
The Mandela statue was created by South African artists, Tania Lee, Christina Salvoldi and Lungisa Kala. The statue which cost about 6 million Rands was shipped to Palestine a month ago and is currently being placed at the renamed Nelson Mandela Square in Al-Tireh, Ramallah.
Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau mentioned that the statue was a political symbol to Palestinians, “a symbol of hope and inspiration for the people of Palestine to realize their freedom
“Having overcome apartheid in South Africa with support of the international community, it is natural to extend our ubuntu principles as Africans and indeed stand in solidarity with those nations currently experiencing various forms of political and humanitarian unrests,” he said.
The Mandela statue which was a donation from the city of Johannesburg to Ramallah is a significant way of Johannesburg showing support for Palestine in their fight for their freedom with the very symbol of South Africa’s victory against Apartheid, Nelson Mandela.
Mayor Hadid announced that the date of the unveiling 0f the statue will be marked as a national day because according to him, the statue “unites the people of Palestine and South Africa.
“The statue is the first step towards strengthening relations between Johannesburg and Ramallah. We look forward to more steps being taken to enhance this relationship further – particularly as the people of Palestine associate Mr Mandela with hope, freedom and dignity,”
“We don’t want relations to end here. Ramallah and the people of Palestine have a lot to learn from Johannesburg and the whole of South Africa.”
Nelson Mandela, supported Palestine freedom while he was still alive. During an address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 4 December, 1997 he said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”