Cape crowd glued to Mandela's memorial broadcast

2013-12-10 14:25
(Dane McDonald, News24)

(Dane McDonald, News24)

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Cape Town - A hush fell over the Grand Parade in Cape Town several times on Tuesday as the crowd intently listened to tributes to former president Nelson Mandela.

The memorial service in Johannesburg is being broadcast live on big screens erected not far from where Mandela made his first speech as a free man.

Every now and then, cheers could be heard as footage of various world leaders and the Mandela family were shown.

US President Barack Obama arrived late, but the crowd cheered when they saw him and his wife Michelle on the big screen.

The sight of Obama's predecessor George W Bush, did not get people excited. Instead, loud boos could be heard from the crowd.

The crowd continued growing.

Earlier, the words "Nelson Mandela, there's no one like him", sung in different languages, echoed across the Parade as people were seen coming from the direction of the railway station and taxi rank.

Many of those gathered for the screening donned hats and summer attire, while some brought along umbrellas to protect themselves from the scorching heat.

There was a strong military and police presence.

In the crowd

Parliament worker Siyabulela Mfuyo, 31, was dressed for the occasion in a T-shirt with a picture of Mandela's face, and beaded necklaces in the green, black and gold colours of the ANC.

She had been at the parade since 09:30.

"He fought for our freedom: black, white, all of us," she said.

"Tata left a legacy of listening and speaking to each other, of giving and loving each other regardless."

Zolisa Mfincane, 20, from Mfuleni, said his boss had given him time off from work to attend.

He worked in a camera shop, and also photographed weddings and other events in the township.

"Until today, people don't do professional photography, but now they want to do it," he said.

"Mandela inspired me to become a professional photographer."

Also in attendance were about 50 students, in South Africa to learn how to speak English, and to experience the culture.

Language teacher Meagan Starck, 33, said the school had come to pay its respects.

"On Friday, the school held a private memorial and the mood was sombre.

"Everyone was speechless and our host families had to explain what had happened."

Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us

- SAPA

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  barack obama  |  cape town
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