The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Community News Network

December 6, 2013

South Africans mourn Nelson Mandela's death

JOHANNESBURG — South Africans flocked to the Johannesburg home of Nelson Mandela to mourn his death and pay tribute to a leader who led the nation out of racial discord by encouraging reconciliation.

About 400 people gathered Friday outside Mandela's home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, with some singing and holding up portraits of the nation's first black president.



Mandela, who had been critically ill following a lung infection, died peacefully at 8:50 p.m. local time Thursday at the age of 95, surrounded by his family, President Jacob Zuma said.

"He really is such an icon for the nation," Rachael Shear, 16, said in an interview after coming to pay her respects with her 13-year-old sister Liat. "He's someone that we're not going to see again in our lifetime. From what I learned at school, the difference he made to South Africa, taking us out of our apartheid state to where we are today, South Africa wouldn't be as it is unless we had him."

Mandela was jailed for 27 years for fighting against white minority rule. He was released in 1990 and became president after the first multiracial elections four years later.

Neighbors and well-wishers began gathering since Thursday night at Mandela's Houghton home and his former residence in Soweto, a township southwest of Johannesburg. Zuma addressed the nation in a live TV broadcast Thursday night to announce Mandela's death.

The mood among those who came to pay their respects was celebratory of Mandela's life, with many singing freedom songs, clapping their hands and stamping their feet. A group of kindergarten children outside Mandela's former home in Soweto held up posters and sang the national anthem.

"We are grateful for what he has done for us," Ntsiki Mthembu, who said she's older than 60, said in an interview outside Mandela's former Soweto home in Vilakazi street, which is now a museum. "Now he must rest in peace. It's sad, but he lived his life to the fullest and we are all free."

Text Only
Community News Network
E-edition
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Must Read