SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 6, 2013

South Africans mourn, celebrate Mandela, dead at 95

'We will never find another like him'

JOHANNESBURG — As the news of Nelson Mandela’s death spread across South Africa, residents of Soweto gathered in the streets near the house where he once lived, singing and dancing to mourn his death and celebrate his colossal life.

The people of South Africa reacted today with deep sadness at the loss of a man considered by many to be the father of the nation, while mourners said it was also a time to celebrate the achievements of the anti-apartheid leader who emerged from prison to become South Africa’s first black president.

President Jacob Zuma, dressed in black, announced the news of Mandela’s death last night on television, saying the 95-year-old known affectionately by his clan name “Madiba” had died “peacefully” around 8:50 p.m. while in the company of his family.

“He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

The president said all national flags would be lowered to half-staff from today until after a state funeral.

Some people gathered with candles as media swarmed outside the Johannesburg home where Mandela had been receiving medical care in past months. About 40 people celebrated Mandela’s life by dancing and singing outside his former home on Vilakazi Street in the Soweto area of Johannesburg.

“I’m disappointed. I’m sad,” said Thumelo Madikwe, a 29-year-old accountant. “But at the same time, he had his part in life, and he did it very well. It’s fine that he goes. He was old.”

Big gatherings of mourners were expected in coming days as the country prepares a formal farewell for a man who helped guide the country from racial conflict to all-race elections in 1994.

“He transcended race and class in his personal actions, through his warmth and through his willingness to listen and to empathize with others,” retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a statement. “He taught us that to respect those with whom we are politically or socially or culturally at odds is not a sign of weakness, but a mark of self-respect.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140765_SN_DLE_FESSENDEN4 Special Spaces transforms two downstairs rooms into playroom for Riley Fessenden

    BEVERLY -- What happens when the perfect kid-friendly playroom appears in your house overnight? Beverly's Fessenden kids were mostly speechless when they returned from seeing "The Little Mermaid" on Saturday and got their first look at the playroom t

    July 28, 2014 10 Photos

  • Beverly Hospital courier loses patients’ lab forms

    BEVERLY -- A courier for Beverly Hospital last month lost lab request forms for 54 patients that included names, health insurance identification numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. The courier misplaced the forms, which were in a zip

    July 28, 2014

  • Big plans for three parks in the Point neighborhood SALEM -- One will be overhauled, another created from scratch, and a third will get a spiffed-up community garden. It's a good time to be a park in the Point neighborhood. The densely packed area just south of the city's downtown is on the verge of i

    July 28, 2014

  • Peabody could see school choice profit next year PEABODY -- After three years, the city's schools are projected not only to break even on school choice, but actually make a $30,000 profit. School officials expect to lose just under $300,000 in state aid next year for students who opt to attend scho

    July 28, 2014

  • 140723_SN_DLE_SALVARMY2 Dennis and Susan Knight take over Salem Salvation Army operation

    SALEM -- It was Christmas Eve in Sanford, Maine, but 8-year-old Dennis Knight and his three sisters had good reason to be short on holiday spirit: Their mom and dad had warned them there would be no Christmas that year. The family couldn't afford it.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos