People brave cold for Mandela

2013-12-07 07:19

Joy Chauke holds a candle as she arrives to lay flowers outside the old house of Nelson Mandela in Soweto. (Ben Curtis, AP)

Joy Chauke holds a candle as she arrives to lay flowers outside the old house of Nelson Mandela in Soweto. (Ben Curtis, AP)

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Johannesburg - People braved the cold to pay their respects to former president Nelson Mandela late on Friday.

A group of people were still singing outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

"Ga re tsamae re robala mo [We are not going anywhere, we are sleeping here]," said Pauline Moja.

Call it a night vigil if you like. To me it is a good send-off for my leader.

"I am not going to work on Saturday. Instead of cuddling in bed I better be here to celebrate Mandela's life."

She believed he had changed South Africa for the better.

"We are today able to access clean drinking water. We have electricity in our home and our streets are better."

Moja said South Africans were lucky to have had Mandela living among them.

"He was a humble man with integrity."

As the group stopped singing one man asked: "Are we living like he wanted us to?"

"Amen, amen," people responded.

"Our message is to live up to his values."

The crowd had started to clear and streets around Mandela's house were accessible again after being closed off to traffic during the day.

Mandela died at his Houghton home around 20:50 on Thursday. He will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, next Sunday.

- Send us your memories and photos of Nelson Mandela.

- 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

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  johannesburg

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