Mandela statue unveiled in South Africa capital

Mandela statue unveiled in South Africa capital

Credit: Getty Images

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 16: A statue of former South African president Nelson Mandela is unveiled at the Union Buildings on December 16, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. South African president Jacob Zuma unveiled a 9 meter bronze statue of former South African president Nelson Mandela as part of the Day of Reconciliation celebrations. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 7:04 AM

 PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- 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. 

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