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World Mourns Mandela

December 6, 2013 by  

World Mourns Mandela, South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95.

Crowds paid tribute, dancing and singing in front of Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto throughout the night.

Flags flew at half mast after President Jacob Zuma announced his death in a late night national TV address.

Mr Mandela spent 27 years in jail before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

His administration replaced the racist white-minority regime that had enforced segregation of black and white people in a policy known as apartheid.

Scenes from around the globe in the hours after Nelson Mandela’s death as world leaders, South Africans, and our own journalists react

Mr Mandela went on to become one of the world’s most respected statesmen.

A service of national mourning is expected to be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday. His body will then lie in state for three days in the capital, Pretoria, before being taken for a state funeral in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up.

“God was so good to us in South Africa by giving us Nelson Mandela to be our president at a crucial moment in our history,” said long-time ally Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

1918 Born in the Eastern Cape

1943 Joins ANC

1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial

1962 Jailed for five years for incitement and leaving country without a passport

1964 Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life

1990 Freed from prison

1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize

1994-99 Serves as president

2004 Retires from public life

2010 Last major public appearance at football World Cup in Johannesburg

At a service in Cape Town on Friday, he said Mr Mandela had “taught a divided nation to come together”.

Mr Mandela had been suffering from a lung illness for a long time.

He had been receiving treatment at home since September, when he was discharged from hospital.

As soon as the news broke, small crowds began to gather in Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, where Mr Mandela lived in the 1940s and 1950s.

They chanted apartheid-era songs, including one with the lyrics: “We have not seen Mandela in the place where he is, in the place where he is kept.”

The announcement of Mandela’s death was made by President Jacob Zuma

By daybreak, dozens more had gathered.

“We are celebrating his life and all that he did for us,” said one of the mourners, Terry Mokoena.

Crowds also gathered outside Mr Mandela’s current home, in Johannesburg’s northern suburb of Houghton, where he died.

Across the world, leaders, celebrities and members of the public have been paying tribute.

Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Mandela’s death.

“He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today,” a statement issued by Buckingham Palace said.

“Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr. Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time.”

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