Mandela Lying In State

December 11, 2013 by  

Mandela Lying In State, An estimated 80,000 people attended a memorial service gathering for Nelson Mandela at the stadium in the Soweto township on Tuesday where he made his last public appearance at the closing ceremony of the 2010 football World Cup.
Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.

The memorial was the latest event in a week of mourning for the anti-apartheid hero after his death last week.

On the eve of the memorial Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu described Mr Mandela as a “magician” who conjured a united nation out of a country teetering on the brink of civil war.

In London, the Prime Minister, David Cameron was joined by his deputy Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband as politicians of all stripes marked the death of the former South African president with a special session in the House of Commons.

On Sunday South Africans crowded into churches, mosques, temples and synagogues to remember Mr Mandela.

In the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the once blacks-only township of Soweto, parish priest Sebastian Rossouw called Mandela “a light in the darkness” and praised his capacity for “humility and forgiveness”.

Inside the church, once used as a sanctuary by anti-apartheid activists during police raids, a single candle illuminated a portrait of Mandela with a raised-fist salute.

Since his death was announced late on Friday, South Africans have been gathering outside the former president’s home in Johannesburg to pay tribute to the man revered as the father of the country.

Mr Mandela died at home at 9pm local time (7pm GMT) on Thursday night after suffering from a lung infection. His death was announced shortly after on television by South Africa president Jacob Zuma.

Mr Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, and some of his three children, 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were with him in his final days, with other family and friends in attendance.

President Barack Obama led the world in mourning the South African leader’s passing, who he described as “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.

Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to the former president, hailing him “a true global hero”.

In London, mourners have been laying flowers outside the country’s High Commission in London.

The former president’s body will most likely to taken to the Waterkloof Military Base in Pretoria, where it will be embalmed and prepared for public display.

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