Rainbow nation at FNB stadium

2013-12-10 11:35
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela's dream of a racially united South Africa could be seen at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday as thousands of people sang and danced for the late statesman.

"This really is the rainbow nation. I believe that the soul has no colour, or sex. People are just people, inside we are all the same," Lize Coetzee, aged 42, from Bela Bela in Limpopo said.

She said she and her family waited outside the FNB Stadium since midnight because they did not want to miss the service. The rain did not dissuade them.

"Mandela was born in July, when it was cold. So this is quite fitting."

She said the mood at the stadium was appropriate.

"It is a sad day, but also a happy day. There are many joyful tears."

Rohith Jagganath, aged 26, from Johannesburg, stood near the stadium's back walkways, with a framed picture of Mandela hanging around his neck. He had others in his hands that he was selling.

"I only sold two so far, but I hope to sell more. They are R50 each."

Zolile Jeme, aged 49, from Germiston, on the East Rand, said Mandela's dream had not yet been realised.

"It is important to acknowledge the work he has done to create the cohesion of a single South Africa," he said.

"He represented blacks [in negotiations with the apartheid government], but the other side, that government, did not reciprocate that. It was easier for them to reciprocate with him as a person and not as a representative of black people."

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.

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