The square had previously been known as Government Square and was the location of the Johannesburg Law Courts where Gandhi practiced law. The main Johannesburg bus terminus now stands where the law courts were located..
Tinka Christopher was chosen as the statue's sculptor by the advisory committee of the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The piece took Christopher three months to complete, with Christopher saying that she worked "...worked 10 hours each day, seven days a week, to complete the work in time". The other shortlisted artists were Naomi Jacobson, Ben Omar, and Maureen Quin.
The statue is situated on a 5 meter high plinth, and benches surround the base of the statue. The statue depicts Gandhi as he may have appeared in his time in Johannesburg, as a young man wearing his legal gown over his suit, with his cloak blown by the breeze. Gandhi has a book and is looking forward. The statue contains an alarm monitored by a security company that detects vibrations arriving from theft.
The statue was half funded by the city of Johannesburg, with the remainder coming from private donations.