Hundreds gather for ECape Mandela memorial

FILE PICTURE: A policeman moves a road sign in front of an electronic message that reads 'Rest in Peace Father Madiba' in Xhosa near Nelson Mandela's former home in Qunu this week. Qunu, the village where Mandela grew up, will be his final resting place. Picture: AFP.

Hundreds of people gathered at a memorial service in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape for former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday.

The hall at the King Sabata Dalinyebo FET College was packed with people.

Speakers included Faziz Khan from the Pakistani community. African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe was also scheduled to speak.

Before stepping up to the podium, Khan went to a poster with Mandela’s face on it and kissed it.

“I was one of the persons who also loved him,” said Khan.

He said Mandela fought for everyone and did not just belong to a certain group of people.

Before taking his seat again he asked the hall to stand up and chant: “We love you Madiba.”

Between speakers, the crowd sang and danced.

A group of about 40 women, dressed in green and black ANC Women’s League attire, danced and sang in front of the hall while the band played.

The ANC organised the memorial service and the hall was made up in green, yellow, and black.

Banners, flags, shirts and material with pictures of Mandela’s face on it filled up the hall. The event was overseen by military guards both outside and inside the hall.

Mantashe sat on the stage with other speakers while he waited for his turn to speak.


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