27 April 2016 Current Affairs: A six-metre statue of former South African president Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in Palestine, the first such sculpture of the anti-apartheid icon outside the country. The statue was unveiled by Parks Tau, the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, which sponsored it as part of a twin city arrangement signed two years ago.
April 26 South Africa celebrates the annual public holiday of Freedom Day on April 27 to mark Mandela's installation in 1994 as the first democratically-elected president of the country after decades of white minority apartheid rule. Palestine also declared April 26 a national day as large crowds gathered at a square in Ramallah named after Mandela, who had repeatedly compared the struggle against apartheid in South Africa to that of the Palestinian fight against oppression by Israel.
In 1997, Mandela declared: "Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians". 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.But the project was not without controversy as Israeli customs authority allegedly delayed its delivery for several weeks, demanding huge customs duties before intervention by high-level government officials led to its release, according to informed sources who wished to remain anonymous.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela : Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
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