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Mandela poster in Soweto Photo: AFP
Mandela poster in Soweto Photo: AFP
 
Mourning in Johannesburg Photo: EPA
Mourning in Johannesburg Photo: EPA
 
 

South Africans pay tribute to Mandela as world mourns icon's passing

As government prepares funeral ceremonies, mourners gather outside Mandela's home in Johannesburg to commemorate anti-apartheid icon with song, tears and prayers

News agencies
Published: 12.06.13, 12:59 / Israel News

People across South Africa are commemorating Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers as the government prepares funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe.

 

In a church service Friday, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president would want South Africans themselves to be his "memorial" by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.

 

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Mourners are gathering outside Mandela's house in Johannesburg, as well as at his old home in the city's black township of Soweto.

 

Mourning outside Mandela's home in Johannesburg (Photo: Reuters)
Mourning outside Mandela's home in Johannesburg (Photo: Reuters)
 

 

South Africa's banking association says banks will close on the day of Mandela's funeral. The government has yet to announce a detailed schedule for a mourning period that is expected to last more than a week.

 

Elsewhere, from Harlem to Hollywood, Paris to Beijing, people hailed Mandela's indomitable courage in

the face of adversity as an inspiration for all.

 

Photo: AP
Photo: AP
 

 

In Kiev, where Ukrainians have gathered for anti-government demonstrations around-the-clock for the past week, protesters took a moment to recall Mandela's legacy.

 

"He had many troubles in his life. He was in prison, but he was waiting and he achieved what he wanted," protester Alena Pivovar said. "We have the same situation now. We have some barriers, but we have to pass them."

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP
 

 

In New York City's Harlem neighborhood, artist Franco Gaskin, 85, stood before a mural featuring Mandela he had painted on a storefront gate almost 20 years ago. He remembered a Mandela visit there in 1990. "It was dynamic, everyone was so electrified to see him in Harlem," Gaskin said. "I idolized him so much. He leaves a legacy that all of us should follow."

 

Mandela was also mourned in Cuba, which has long felt a close bond with the late South African leader. Havana considered him a hero for supporting it amid U.S. and international criticism.

 

"Exceptional human being, example for the world, Father of multiracial South Africa, the endearing friend of Fidel and Cuba," journalist Juana Carrasco said via Twitter. "Long live Mandela!"

 

AP and Reuters contributed to this report

 

 

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