Sept. 21 - Hundreds gather at the South African Embassy for the unveiling of the nearly 10-foot statue dedicated to the anti-apartheid hero. Linda So reports.
A momentous occasion to honor a hero who led the charge against apartheid. Hundreds gathered outside the South African Embassy in Washington on Saturday for the unveiling of former South African President Nelson Mandela's statue. This is the very spot where thousands of protestors in the 1980's called for an end to apartheid. Mandela's daughter who spoke at the ceremony says her 95 year old father is doing well despite the recent struggle with his health. SOUNDBITE: NELSON MANDELA'S DAUGHTER ZINDZI MANDELA SAYING: "This man is a fighter. As you can see from that raised fist over there. He's not going anywhere, anytime soon. He's determined to be with us." Dignitaries from around the world attended the ceremony including members of the band "Kool and the Gang." SOUNDBITE: KOOL AND THE GANG BAND MEMBER SAYING: "We were offered like a lot of groups to perform in South Africa in Sun City, for a lot of money, close to a million dollars for one date and we chose simply not to do it." And then the moment everyone was waiting for. The nearly 10-foot statue unveiled showing Mandela with his fist raised, depicting the moment he was released from prison after spending nearly three decades there. SOUNDBITE: SOUTH AFRICAN AMBASSADOR EBRAHIM RASOOL SAYING: "There was no better tribute to the people of the United States than to bringing Mr. Mandela's first step after 27 years and placing that first step right here on American soil." A lasting tribute to a man who fought to bring racial equality to his country.