South Africa: South Africa marks first anniversary of Mandela's death

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Millions of South Africans on Friday marked the first anniversary of the death of world statesman, Nelson Mandela, with an outpouring of public support, PANA reported from here.

Mandela died peacefully in his sleep on 5 December, 2013, at his Johannesburg home at the age of 95.

The official commemorations included an interfaith prayer service followed by a wreath-laying ceremony by anti-apartheid struggle veterans in Pretoria.

Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, who addressed the service, said “we draw strength and comfort from the love, support and unity he bequeathed to the people of South Africa, Africa and the world”.

“Let us all keep Nelson Mandela's legacy alive by living his values in every aspect of our own lives - unflinching sacrifice in the humble service of all of humanity. All South Africans are urged to play their part in moving South Africa forward as part of efforts to build a better South Africa, in a better Africa, in a better world, and in memory of this icon of our people, Nelson Mandela,” said Ramaphosa.

At 10 am around the country, bells chimed, motorists sounded their horns and pedestrians blew vuvuzelas and other musical instruments. This was followed by a three-minute period of silence when South Africans reflected on Mandela’s extraordinary legacy.

Fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu called the public to emulate Mandela's example by “building a society founded on human rights, in which all can share in the rich bounty God bestowed on our country”.

And former President FW de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993, called on South Africans to honour his legacy.

“Although Nelson Mandela is no longer physically with us, his legacy remains to guide us,” he said in a statement marking the anniversary.

This weekend, artists and performers will hold centre stage at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which has launched an exhibition in his honour.

Motorcyclists across the country have also been called on to dedicate their traditional Sunday morning rides to the anti-apartheid hero.

A five-kilometre Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk will be held in Pretoria on 13 December, passing some of the city's historic landmarks, including the Union Buildings where his body lay in State a year ago.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 5Dec2014

05 december 2014 12:12:58

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