Thursday
April 24, 2014
Sunday, December 8, 2013

South Africans remember Mandela with praise, prayers

People gather outside South African former president Nelson Mandela home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on December 8, 2013, three days after his death. Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, died in Johannesburg on December 5 at age 95.
With hymns and eulogies, South Africans of all colours and creeds remembered Nelson Mandela in a day of prayers today, holding him up as a symbol of freedom, forgiveness and hope for the nation and the world.

At churches, mosques, synagogues and community halls from the Limpopo River to the Cape, millions offered praise and reflected on a man celebrated as "Father of the Nation" and as a global beacon of integrity, rectitude and reconciliation.

Mandela, South Africa's first black president who steered his nation out of apartheid and into multi-racial democracy, died on Thursday at the age of 95 after months of illness. Since then, the country has been gripped by an outpouring of emotion unrivalled since Mandela's release from 27 years of prison in 1990 and his subsequent election victory.

Crowds have piled flowers, candles, balloons and messages outside his Johannesburg home. At the cavernous Regina Mundi church in Soweto, South Africa's largest Catholic Church, hundreds of mourners, young and old, gathered to pray for Mandela and the nation's future.

"People are praying that there will be change, that we will come together," said Gladys Simelane, an office manager. Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, dressed in black, attended a Methodist service in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Bryanston, where President Jacob Zuma hailed the values of the country's most beloved statesman.

"He believed in forgiveness and he forgave even those who kept him in jail for 27 years," Zuma said in a eulogy. "He stood for freedom. He fought against those who oppressed others. He wanted everyone to be free."

The day of prayers opens an official programme of mourning that includes a memorial service in a Johannesburg stadium on Tuesday and a state funeral next Sunday at Mandela's Eastern Cape ancestral home of Qunu - expected to be one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders in recent history.

Fifty-nine foreign heads of state or government have so far said they will attend the memorial or the funeral, a foreign ministry spokesman said.
  • CommentComment
  • Increase font size Decrease font sizeSize
  • Email article
    email
  • Print
    Print
  • Share
    1. Vote
    2. Not interesting Little interesting Interesting Very interesting Indispensable
Tags:  mandela  south africa  death  


  • Comment
  • Increase font size Decrease font size
  • mail
  • Print

COMMENTS >

Comment



Grupo ámbito ámbito financiero ambito.com Docsalud AlRugby.com Premium El Ciudadano El Tribuno Management

Director: Orlando Mario Vignatti - Edition No. 4109 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. - RNPI Nº 5099332 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA