Reconciliation Day in South Africa marked with unveiling of giant statue of Nelson Mandela - InfoNews

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Reconciliation Day in South Africa marked with unveiling of giant statue of Nelson Mandela

Helicopters perform a flypast as smoke rises from a gun salute after the unveiling of a 9 metre bronze statue of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela outside Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. The statue was unveiled as part of the Day of Reconciliation Celebrations which occur annually on December 16 at the Union Buildings, which this year fall on the structure's centenary. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
December 16, 2013 - 4:28 AM

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 honour 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.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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