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South African capital to get giant Mandela statue

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A giant statue of Nelson Mandela outside Drakenstein Prison near Cape Town, on June 10, 2013AFP/File

A nine-metre (30-foot) high bronze statue of South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela will be erected at a government complex in the capital Pretoria, an official said Thursday.

The figure with outstretched arms and one foot slightly forward, will depict a younger looking Mandela, as he looked 10 years after his 1994 election.

The Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said the statue would be unveiled at Union Buildings on December 16, South Africa's day of reconciliation.

He stated that it was part of efforts to establish new symbols to reflect the collective aspirations of South Africans.

He described anti-apartheid hero Mandela as an "enduring symbol of our struggle for freedom, democracy, dignity and equality."

Mandela, 95, is recovering at home after spending nearly three months in hospital for a respiratory illness.

There are several Mandela statues across the country already.

The latest one, a towering eight-metre tall figure, was unveiled outside the central town of Bloemfontein in 2012.

The city of Cape Town also plans to build its own on the site where he made his first speech after walking free from prison in 1990.