Nelson Mandela death: South Africa and world mourn

(BBC)South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader, Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95.

Crowds have been paying tribute, dancing and singing in front of Mr Mandela’s former home in Soweto.

He is to be accorded a state funeral on Sunday 15 December, President Jacob Zuma announced.

Mr Mandela spent 27 years in jail before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

His administration replaced the racist white-minority regime that had enforced segregation of black and white people in a policy known as apartheid.

Mr Mandela went on to become one of the world’s most respected statesmen.

At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Mr Zuma outlined a week of events to mourn the former president

  • Sunday will be an official day of prayer and reflection with special religious services
  • On Tuesday, a service of national mourning will be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg
  • Mr Mandela’s body will lie in state from Wednesday to Friday in the capital, Pretoria

The funeral will be held in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where Mr Mandela grew up.

The mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, announced an interfaith ceremony would be held in the city between 17:00 and 19:00 local time (15:00 and 17:00 GMT) on Friday. The Johannesburg stock exchange suspended operations for five minutes on Friday as a mark of respect.

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