International media presence high in Soweto

2013-12-09 14:55
Hundreds of local and international journalists queue at a Media centre to get their accreditation to cover the funeral of Nelson Mandela. (Marco Longari, AFP)

Hundreds of local and international journalists queue at a Media centre to get their accreditation to cover the funeral of Nelson Mandela. (Marco Longari, AFP)

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Johannesburg - International media organisations filled the area outside Nelson Mandela's former house in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto, on Monday.

Jessy El Murr, a Sky News correspondent from Abu Dhadi in the United Arab Emirates, arrived in South Africa on Friday after hearing about the former president's death.

"Mandela's death has deeply affected our country," she said.

"Our nation also faces similar issues of conflict so we can relate on a certain level."

French journalist Richard Simonet said his country had a close relationship with Mandela.

"I am honoured to be in South Africa during this historic time. I want to relate the power that Mandela had to people all over the world," he said.

Finnish journalism student Laura Pylvanainen arrived in South Africa on Friday, also after hearing about Mandela's death.

"I am very interested in human rights and I consider Mandela as the father of teaching human rights all over the world.

"It is an honour to be here," she said

Fond memories

Business was good for the vendors who lined Vilakazi Street on Monday, selling Mandela memorabilia, beverages, and snacks.

"Since Friday I have been making around R3000 a day," said Mandla Ngwenya, who sells Mandela T-shirts and caps.

David Mamuleka has sold beverages and snacks there since Friday. "My stall has been making a lot of money. I am very grateful for that," he said.

Mandela moved into the house with his first wife Evelyn Mase in 1946, according to the website

They divorced in 1957, and a year later he was joined there by his second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

He spent a brief time in the house after his release from prison in 1990. It is now a museum and national monument.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night at the age of 95.

A man living a street away from the house in Vilakazi Street said on Monday that she had fond memories of Mandela.

"My mother and I met Madiba when he was campaigning for the ANC after he was released from prison," said Xolani Khoba, who lives in Lembede Street.

"He came into our house to ask us how we are and said that he wanted to help the community improve their living conditions.

"It was such a blessing seeing the thousands of people coming to pay their respects to Tata."

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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