South Africa 5.12.2014 11:44 am

Dignitaries remember Nelson Mandela

Former South African President Nelson Mandela (L) and his wife Graca Machel greet fans before the 2010 World Cup football final between the Netherlands and Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

Former South African President Nelson Mandela (L) and his wife Graca Machel greet fans before the 2010 World Cup football final between the Netherlands and Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

The Mandela family, struggle veterans, government leaders, diplomats, and celebrities gathered at Freedom Park in Pretoria on Friday to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela’s death.

Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa sat with Ahmed Kathrada, Sophie de Bruyn, Mandla Mandela, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, and Tshwane mayor Kgosientso

Ramokgopa.

Various religious leaders opened the proceedings with prayers.

Ramokgopa welcomed the guests and said Mandela remained a moral compass for the world.

Guests sang “Mandela a gona wa tshwanang le wena [There’s no one like Mandela]” in intervals during the proceedings.

Young people wearing Nelson Mandela Foundation T-shirts praised Mandela’s legacy in poetry, followed by Pitika Ntuli, whose poem also honoured the former president.

Mandela’s former praise singer Zolani Mkiva said Mandela had respected tradition.

“He knew we can never be free if we are not grounded on our heritage. Mandela respected traditional leadership and the African tradition.”

A police band stood by to entertain the guests. Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a speech at the event.

Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on December 5 last year.

Sapa


READ MORE:

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Veterans, Graca Machel honour Mandela

Ah! Dalibhunga – SA cherishes Mandela’s legacy  

Family, dignitaries arrive to commemorate Mandela  

Wreaths laid for Nelson Mandela 

 

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