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Nelson Mandela commemoration events held in South Africa

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South Africa is marking one year since the death of Nelson Mandela with numerous events held across the country, including a wreath-laying ceremony and a cricket match.

Anti-apartheid movement veterans joined Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, at a remembrance service in Pretoria.

Sirens and vuvuzelas sounded across the country before a commemorative three minutes’ silence was held.

There was a worldwide outpouring of grief when South Africa’s first black president died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Nelson Mandela, also known by his clan name of Madiba, spent 27 years in prison for fighting white-minority rule in South Africa.

Veteran liberation struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada addressed the remembrance service at the Union Buildings in the capital, Pretoria, on Friday morning.

He described Nelson Mandela as a democrat with a touch of autocratic rule.Nelson Mandela commemoration 2014

“The body gave in but Madiba’s spirit never, never changed, it was always the same until the end,” his widow, Graca Machel, said before laying a wreath at the base of the 9m (30 ft) tall bronze statue of her husband.

Graca Machel said it remained the responsibility of every person in the world to ensure his legacy lived on.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu also paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying: “We thank God for him, and the example he gave us. He taught us about the worth of a human being, all human beings.”


An interfaith service was held at Freedom Park in Pretoria earlier on Friday.

Commemorations are taking place across the country, including at Nelson Mandela’s birthplace of Qunu where a marquee has been erected outside the Nelson Mandela Museum.

Nelson Mandela was buried in his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape 10 days after he died.

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