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Mandela Death Shocks Zimbabweans in South Africa

  • Benedict Nhlapho

A group of mourners carrying a picture of South African leader Nelson Mandela, sing and dance outside his Johannesburg home, Dec. 6, 2013, after the freedom fighter passed away Thursday night after a long illness.

A group of mourners carrying a picture of South African leader Nelson Mandela, sing and dance outside his Johannesburg home, Dec. 6, 2013, after the freedom fighter passed away Thursday night after a long illness.

Zimbabweans in South Africa have expressed shock and sadness over the death of South Africa’s former president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Mandela died at his Johannesburg home Thursday night in the presence of his family.

Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa on Friday joined millions of South Africans in mourning the former president and world icon.

Addressing the nation to announce the death, South African president Jacob Zuma described the late Mandela as the greatest son of South Africa.

Zuma urged South Africans to unite throughout the period of mourning and carry on Mandela’s determinations of a better South Africa.

“A determination to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and to not rest until we have realised his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa, and a better world. We will always love you Madiba! May your soul rest in peace. God Bless Africa. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. We thank you,” said Zuma.

Zimbabweans in South Africa say the news left them devastated. Bongani Nxumalo, who lives in Johannesburg said it is not only South Africa that has lost but Africa as a whole.

Gibson Ndethi, 33, said Mandela left a legacy for Africa to emulate, adding that Madiba is Zimbabwe’s Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.

Hundreds of people from Mandela’s political party, the ruling African National Congress, also gathered near his house and chose to mourn and celebrate his life in song and dance.

Mandela’s body will lie in state from next Wednesday to Friday at the official government Union Building in Pretoria before the funeral takes place Sunday, December 15th at his ancestral home in Qunu in the former Transkei homeland, Eastern Cape province.
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