In memorial of Mandela’s passing: one year ago today

A photo taken at his Houghton home last year

Last year, at approximately 8.50pm on 5 December, Nelson Mandela was declared dead at is Houghton home after suffering a prolonged respiratory infection.

President Jacob Zuma made the announcement of his death shortly before midnight, and explained that he passed away peacefully in the company of his loved ones.

“Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss,” he said.

Shortly after the announcement of his passing, tributes began to pour in from other world leaders.

US president Barack Obama said, “We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages.

“I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.”

Obama ordered the flags at the White House and public buildings to be lowered to half-mast.

Meanwhile, as South Africans woke on 6 December to news of Mandela’s death, crowds flocked to his Houghton home holding candles and flags while singing struggle songs.

On the day following his passing all South Africa’s flags flew at half-mast and remained lowered until the beloved former president’s funeral.

Racine Edwardes

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