The City of Johannesburg is donating a statue of former president Nelson Mandela to Palestine, which has already been shipped to that country and would be unveiled in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau and his delegation left for Palestine on Sunday, the City of Johannesburg (COJ) said in a statement.
The COJ said Tau was leading “a delegation to Ramallah City in Palestine for the unveiling of a monumental statue of the former
president of the Republic of South Africa and global icon Nelson Mandela in that city”.
The COJ said: “The statue produced in South Africa and recently shipped to the Palestinian shores is a donation from Johannesburg to Ramallah as a symbol of solidarity with the people of Palestine amidst their ongoing struggles”.
Mayor Tau was accompanied by the Johannesburg Council’s Madam Speaker, Connie Bapela and Member of Mayoral Committee for Social Development and Health Nonceba Molwele.
The unveiling set for Tuesday comes after a mission from Johannesburg visited Ramallah in November 2014.
“The purpose of that visit was to attend the International Conference of Local Authorities in Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The visit subsequently culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Johannesburg and Ramallah on the 23rd of November 2014.”
A multi-year action plan was also developed to be implemented in support of the signed MOU.
“One of the agreed upon action plan elements included the donation of the Nelson Mandela Monumental Statue to Ramallah and the people of Palestine,” said the COJ.
Ramallah mayor, Musa Hadid, was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying: “The erection of Mandela’s sculpture in Ramallah carries a symbolic significance, since he was an international symbol of peace and a torch to people striving for freedom and liberty”.
Hadid added: “The square bearing Mandela’s name will become a major tourist attraction in Ramallah, just like his similar statue in Johannesburg is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the city”.
African News Agency