News / Africa

South Africa Prepares for Mandela's Funeral, Mourning Continues

People pay tribute, lay flowers outside house where former South African President Nelson Mandela resided, Johannesburg, Dec. 7, 2013.
People pay tribute, lay flowers outside house where former South African President Nelson Mandela resided, Johannesburg, Dec. 7, 2013.
VOA News
South Africans are expected to assemble in churches, mosques and halls on Sunday for a national day of prayer and reflection honoring Nelson Mandela.
 
The former president and anti-apartheid icon died on Thursday, following a lengthy illness. He was 95.
 
Mandela family spokesman General Themba Matanzima said Saturday that the past few days had not been easy.
 
"The pillar of the family is gone," he said. "Just as he was away during that painful 27 years of imprisonment. But in our hearts and souls he will always be with us. His spirit and yours."

Mourners light candles for the late leader Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 6, 2013.Mourners light candles for the late leader Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 6, 2013.
x
Mourners light candles for the late leader Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 6, 2013.
Mourners light candles for the late leader Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 6, 2013.
Thousands of mourners have been flocking to sites around South Africa to pay homage to Mandela, an anti-apartheid icon.
 
On Saturday, a large crowded gathered in Soweto township where people sang, danced and held up pictures of Mandela. He lived in the township when he was a young lawyer.

Organizers say they expect about 9,000 people to attend a public state funeral on December 15, in Mandela's ancestral village of Qunu.

  • A young boy tried to squeeze his name onto a Mandela poster outside his home in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Messages of thanks and sadness are written on a giant poster outside Mandela's home in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Mandela fans leave tributes outside his former home in Houghton, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Crowds sing and chant outside Mandela's Houghton home in South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Crowds sing and dance outside Mandela's former home in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Mandela fans pose outside his home in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Mandela posters in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Mandela merchandise is flying off street corners in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Nomalady Zondo says black South Africans are still not economically free and must fight for equal rights.(Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Thabo Tobedi fashioned earrings from keyrings to honor his hero Mandiba who he says was responsible for the social welfare still clothing and feeding many of the nation's black South Africans. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Tourists have been visiting or posing by Mandela's house in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)
  • Crowds gather in Soweto, South Africa. (Hannah McNeish for VOA)

The official memorial service will be held on December 10 at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium — site of the 2010 World Cup final.

A photo of former South African president, late Nelson Mandela, right, is displayed during a remembrance ceremony in Qunu, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.A photo of former South African president, late Nelson Mandela, right, is displayed during a remembrance ceremony in Qunu, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
x
A photo of former South African president, late Nelson Mandela, right, is displayed during a remembrance ceremony in Qunu, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
A photo of former South African president, late Nelson Mandela, right, is displayed during a remembrance ceremony in Qunu, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
From December 11-13, Mandela's remains will lie in state at the Union Building in Pretoria and official memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions.
 
Scores of world leaders and celebrities are expected for the funeral and memorial services of South Africa's first black president, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are also expected to attend.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his role in fighting to end white minority rule and official discrimination against blacks in South Africa.

After his release, he became a symbol of peace and reconciliation and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. The following year, he became South Africa's first black president.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Paul Gesimba from: Nairobi Kenya
December 09, 2013 1:32 AM
Mandela Tata Madiba left a lasting legacy A new progressive Constitution and a booming thriving economy .His mantle should be carried forward by Cyril Ramaphosa a key architect of the new Constitution.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs