Smiling, Mandela looks over at Parliament


bust-520The bronze bust of Nelson Mandela, unveiled on Monday outside the National Assembly in Cape Town. Photo: GCIS


anne taylorBy Anne Taylor
29 April 2014

There’s so much that I love about this photograph – not least of which is the wonderful expression on Madiba’s face. It’s almost as if he’s responding in amusement at all the fuss going on around him. I like the light of the photo, the upheld cellphones, and the smiles on the men to Mandela’s right. It looks like a happy, beautiful autumn day. A perfect day on which to celebrate freedom.

Just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable to install a bust or any symbol of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in the South African Parliament … The South African people were told that he was a terrorist and a prisoner that they should forget about. Thus, there can be no better 20th anniversary gift for South Africans than to have this symbol of Madiba in Parliament. – President Jacob Zuma, at the unveiling on Monday

The Presidency says the bust – in bronze on a granite plinth – shows Mandela looking out over Stalplein to the Parliament gates leading to Plein Street, opposite the steps of the National Assembly building. The bust is 2.28m high when placed on its plinth.