Mandela’s body moved to Pretoria

Pretoria, South Africa (PANA) - As South Africans and millions around the world mourn the death of liberation hero and global icon Nelson Mandela, the spotlight on Friday shifted from his Johannesburg home to a military airport in Pretoria, where his body has been moved.

It is expected that Mandela's body will be placed in a mortuary in the city, pending its movement to his birthplace of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he will be buried.

Large crowds are converging at his former home in Soweto, where he launched his career as a lawyer and political activist decades ago.

The 95-year-old, who had been suffering from a recurring lung infection, died peacefully on Thursday night at his Johannesburg home, the presidency said.

President Jacob Zuma who confirmed the news, noted that South Africa has lost its greatest son.

Candles have been lit and flowers placed in front of his old house in Vilakazi Street, the only road in the world which has housed two Nobel Laureates.

Mandela’s former neighbour Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for his struggle against apartheid, has saluted his old friend, saying his thoughts and prayers are with his family.

"To Tata Mandela's beloved wife Graca Machel, his former wife Winnie Madikizela, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren... we express our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your... patriarch," he said in a statement issued by his foundation.

"Although we collectively claim him as the father of our nation, and the pain we feel is similar to that of losing a close relative, he was your husband, your father and your grandfather,'' he added.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 6Dec2013

06 december 2013 05:58:16

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