Crowd swells at Grand Parade

2013-12-10 12:32
(Dane McDonald, News24)

(Dane McDonald, News24)

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Cape Town - The crowd on the Grand Parade grew on Monday as singing Capetonians arrived for the live screening of a memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.

The words "Nelson Mandela, there's no one like him", sung in different languages, echoed across the Parade as hundreds of 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.

Parliament worker Siyabulela Mfuyo, aged 31, was dressed for the occasion in a T-shirt with Mandela's face on and beaded necklaces in the green, black and gold of the African National Congress.

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

He worked for 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 around 50 students who were in the country to learn how to speak English and experience the culture.

Language teacher Meagan Starck, aged 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."

The crowd started ululating and cheering when former president Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele, were shown entering the FNB stadium on the big screens.

The sight of Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela kissing and embracing Madiba's widow Graca Machel also had the crowd roaring.

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

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.


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