President Cyril Ramaphosa has unveiled a Nelson Mandela statue at the United Nations (UN) in New York on Monday.

Unveiling the statue inside the UN building, Ramaphosa’s told his audience that the values by which Nelson Mandela lived and dedicated his life are universal.

Ramaphosa called South Africa’s first democratically elected President a symbol to the world.

“Nelson Mandela, the Father of our democracy is indeed a symbol of our unity, but he’s also a symbol of our diversity as a nation. His legacy of nation building is the glue that continues to hold our nation together in an amazing.

“Nelson Mandela’s life, his sacrifices, his extraordinary contribution to freedom and indeed to humanity continues to inspire successive generations of South Africans, and I believe millions of people around the world as well. He epitomizes the best that many of us would like to be, integrity, compassion, humility, a peacemakers, a national builder, a selfless leader of his people, a Pan-Africanist and an internationalist as well.”

He adds, “We trust that his image and this statue will remain a constant reminder to the international community of the dedication of Nelson Mandela to the mission of the United Nations and will be a constant affirmation of South Africa’s commitment to continue to contribute to a better world for all,” says Ramaphosa.

Gutteres, Espinosa praise Madiba 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and President of the General Assembly, Maria Espinosa, have praised Nelson Mandela as they accepted the gift of a bronze statue of Madiba from South Africa.

UN secretary general, Antonio Gutteres says Nelson Mandela counts as one of humanity’s great leaders.

“The fight against apartheid marked a landmark in human rights and freedom, the credit goes to the people of South Africa, but United Nations played its role. The role we should be proud of. And so it’s more than appropriate that our headquarters should be honoured by this statue. And I thank the President and the government of South Africa for its generosity in donating it. From this day on, all delegates, staff, visitors everybody in the UN will be constantly inspired by Madiba’s legacy looking at this wonderful statue.”

President Ramaphosa is leading a South African delegation to 2018’s UN General Assembly. It’s his first visit to the world body as head of State.

He’s expected to outline SA’s domestic and foreign policy objectives including the land reform programme and economic challenges.

More on the unveiling of Madiba’ statue with Minister Nathi Mthethwa…