People paid tribute, dancing and singing and crying in front of
Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto throughout the night.
Mr Nelson Mandela who 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, Mr Mandela went on to become one of the world’s most known and respected statesmen.
A service of national mourning is 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.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Of. South Africa said:
“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,”.
Mr Nelson 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.”
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.”
US President Barack Obama: said “He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home,”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called him “a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration”.
Flags are flying at half-mast on government buildings in Washington DC, Paris and across South Africa. World football body Fifa also ordered its
flags to be lowered.
The parliament in Pretoria is expected to hold a special joint session to reflect on Mr Mandela’s life and legacy.
Books of condolence will be opened at public buildings in South Africa and at the country’s embassies throughout the world. Next Monday is expected to be the start of South Africa’s official mourning, with a service in Soweto’s
FNB stadium. Mr Mandela’s body will lie in state for three days at the Union buildings in Pretoria before a funeral is
held on Saturday in Qunu, the village in Eastern Cape where he was born.
MR ZUMA STATEMENT:
“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Mr Zuma said. “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and
enduring loss.” Mr Mandela won admiration around the world when
he preached reconciliation after being freed from almost three decades of imprisonment. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 along with FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white
president. Mr de Klerk, who ordered Mr Mandela’s release from jail, called him a “unifier” and said he had “a remarkable lack of bitterness”.
He also said Mr Mandela’s greatest legacy was that “we are basically at peace with each other notwithstanding our great diversity, that we will be
taking hands once again now around his death and around our common sadness and mourning”