South Africans continue to pray, sing, dance to celebrate Mandela

Johannesburg, South Africa (PANA) - South Africans are on Saturday continuing to celebrate the life of anti-apartheid stalwart and icon, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday night.

Huge crowds, including children and the elderly, have continued to pray, sing, dance across the country as they remember the man, whose fearlessness contributed immensely to end the obnoxious apartheid policy.

Thousands have streamed endlessly to his former home in Soweto as they extol his virtues of humility, honesty, spirit of forgiveness and unprecedented show of love.

They have gone to his Johannesburg home where he died peacefully, aged 95, after a long illness, to pray and lay flowers.

All flags are flying at half mast in the country until after the funeral.

Various world leaders have said in unison that the world has lost a true statesman, a leader and a pragmatic visionary with the passing of Mandela.

According to the official funeral programme announced by President Jacob Zuma, Mandela will on Sunday 15 December be given a state funeral and laid to rest in his village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up.

On Sunday 8 December, an official day of prayer and special religious services would be held while on Tuesday 10 December, a service of national mourning would be held at a sports stadium in Johannesburg.

The body will lie in state from Wednesday 11 December to Friday 13 December in Pretoria before burial on Sunday.

Mandela died at his Johannesburg home on Thursday night surrounded by family. He became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.

The iconic leader, fondly called Madiba, had been receiving treatment at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital.

President Zuma made the official announcement of his death in a statement on South Africa’s national television.

Mandela is regarded as one of the greatest statesmen of our time after he reconciled with the white minority rulers who jailed him for 27 years.

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He stepped down after only one five-year term although constitutionally he was allowed a second term.

Mandela was born in 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1943. In 1956 he was charged with high treason, but charges were dropped after a four-year trial only to be re-arrested and convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport.

He was sentenced to five years in prison in 1962 before finally being sentenced to serve a life sentence.

He was released in 1990.
-0- PANA MA 7Dec2013

07 december 2013 06:37:34

xhtml CSS