A woman stripped naked in Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg and caressed a huge statue of the liberation hero as astonished bystanders looked on, local media reported Wednesday.
The young African woman first saluted the statue of the former president, who is revered for his role in defeating the racist apartheid system, before disrobing, witnesses said.
A picture posted on Twitter showed her naked and leaning her head against the knee of the statue in an upmarket area of South Africa's commercial capital.
A waitress at a nearby restaurant told The Star newspaper that the woman's actions, at around 4.00pm on a busy Monday, had caused a frenzy.
Male waiters got their orders wrong and a male customer was hit on the head by his wife for getting up to take a closer look, she said.
Nelson Mandela Square marketing manager Megan Meas said a security guard had asked the woman to put on her clothes, which she did before leaving the square without answering any questions.
"This was an unauthorised incident conducted by a private citizen in her personal capacity on our property," Meas said.