Singing, dancing and tears greet Nelson Mandela's death

Published: 07 December, 2013 07:26 IST | A Correspondent |

Draped in flags, South African football shirts, and even their pyjamas and dressing gowns, hundreds of mourners took to the streets around the Johannesburg house of Nelson Mandela last night as news broke of the death of the man who gave them freedom

People danced and sang ‘Nelson Mandela ha hona ya tshwanang le ena’ (Nelson Mandela there is no one like you), accompanied by loud clapping. Flowers, cards and candles were also laid in the flower beds near the house’s gate. Pics/AFP

Funeral to be held on Dec 15
>> The memorial for Mandela is expected to last 10 days

>> The 10-day occasion will combine both Western traditions and those of Mandela’s native clan, the Thembu. Thembu elders are expected to gather for a first ceremony called ‘the closing of the eyes’ either at his home or in the mortuary.

>> South African President Jacob Zuma ordered the nation’s flags to be flown at half-mast and will remain that way until after Mandela’s funeral.

>> Desmond Tutu, former archbishop of Cape Town is expected to hold the service, which will be attended by US president Barack Obama, former US president Bill Clinton, British PM David Cameron

>> Several celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and U2 frontman Bono, are also expected to attend the service.

>> Mourners will have a chance to say goodbye to their beloved father figure at the Johannesburg soccer stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup.

>> On the tenth day, he will finally be laid to rest in the grounds of his family home in Qunu, where thousands, including heads of state will gather for the state funeral. 

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