Led by his grandson Mandla, the family held hands and formed a circle in front of the statue after placing the wreaths.
“Dalibunga,” said Mandla, who raised his hands towards the statue as he said Mandela’s royal name.
Struggle veterans, including Ahmed Kathrada, George Bizos, and Sophie de Bruyn, placed their wreaths after the family, followed by Cabinet ministers and children from the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Earlier, Kathrada said Mandela had behaved like an ordinary prisoner and not expected any favours while incarcerated on Robben Island.
“When we were on a hunger strike, us youngsters decided that the elders be exempted…. He refused to be exempted from the strike.”
Kathrada said he missed Mandela.
“When he died, I said to myself who do I turn to? I hope to find that someone.”
Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on December 5 last year.