South Africa and the world mourns the passing of a icon


South Africa and the world mourns the passing of a icon
South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday aged 95.

PHOTOS FOR FULL GALLERY

There was dancing and singing in front of Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto as his people paid tribute throughout the night.

 

PHOTOS FOR FULL GALLERY

As soon as the news broke in a late night national TV address by President Jacob Zuma, small crowds began to gather in Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, where the iconic leader lived in the 1940s and 1950s.

By daybreak, dozens more had gathered. “We are celebrating his life and all that he did for us,” one of the mourners, Terry Mokoena, told the BBC.

Crowds also gathered outside Mr Mandela’s current home, in Johannesburg’s northern suburb of Houghton, where he died.

 

In London, mourners laid flowers and tributes at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square and at South Africa House.

Flags are being flown at half-mast on government buildings in Washington DC, Paris, London and across South Africa.

 

A service of national mourning for Mr Mandela — affectionately known by his clan name Madiba — is expected to be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday.

Mr Mandela’s body will 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.