World mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela
South African crowds have collected in Johannesburg and Soweto to pay tribute to and mourn their former leader Nelson Mandela, who died aged 95 on Thursday.
Mr Mandela lived 27 years of incarceration before he became South Africa’s first-ever black president in 1994.
His management eradicated the apartheid that had instilled segregation of black and white people amongst the racist white-minority regime that formerly dictated the country. He went on to become one of the world’s most respected and admired statesmen.
Throughout the night flocks of people paid tribute by dancing and singing in front of Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto. They sang apartheid-era melodies, including one with the lyrics: “We have not seen Mandela in the place where he is, in the place where he is kept.” By daybreak, dozens more had gathered to join.
Terry Mokoena, one of the many making up the mourning crowd said: “We are celebrating his life and all that he did for us.”
Flags were raised at half mast following president Jacob Zuma’s announcement of his death in a late night national TV address.
An official service of mourning is scheduled to be held at a stadium that holds 95,000 on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday. His body will lie in state for three days in the capital, Pretoria
“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.
The great man that taught a divided nation to unite had been suffering with a lung illness for a long time.
Across the world, leaders, celebrities and the public have been paying tribute in various ways. Queen Elizabeth II said she was “deeply saddened” to learn of Mr Mandela’s death. While president Obama commented: “He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home.”
After his three days in the state capital, he will return to the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up, for a state funeral.
People are expected to tune in from across the globe, despite the technical difficulties surrounding the remoteness of Qunu.
The world continues to grieve for the man that won their admiration and respect after tireless decades of work to earn the rights and freedom of his nation.
Photo: Ewa Ferdynus