The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

December 6, 2013

South Africans mourn Nelson Mandela's death

JOHANNESBURG — South Africans flocked to the Johannesburg home of Nelson Mandela to mourn his death and pay tribute to a leader who led the nation out of racial discord by encouraging reconciliation.

About 400 people gathered Friday outside Mandela's home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, with some singing and holding up portraits of the nation's first black president.



Mandela, who had been critically ill following a lung infection, died peacefully at 8:50 p.m. local time Thursday at the age of 95, surrounded by his family, President Jacob Zuma said.

"He really is such an icon for the nation," Rachael Shear, 16, said in an interview after coming to pay her respects with her 13-year-old sister Liat. "He's someone that we're not going to see again in our lifetime. From what I learned at school, the difference he made to South Africa, taking us out of our apartheid state to where we are today, South Africa wouldn't be as it is unless we had him."

Mandela was jailed for 27 years for fighting against white minority rule. He was released in 1990 and became president after the first multiracial elections four years later.

Neighbors and well-wishers began gathering since Thursday night at Mandela's Houghton home and his former residence in Soweto, a township southwest of Johannesburg. Zuma addressed the nation in a live TV broadcast Thursday night to announce Mandela's death.

The mood among those who came to pay their respects was celebratory of Mandela's life, with many singing freedom songs, clapping their hands and stamping their feet. A group of kindergarten children outside Mandela's former home in Soweto held up posters and sang the national anthem.

"We are grateful for what he has done for us," Ntsiki Mthembu, who said she's older than 60, said in an interview outside Mandela's former Soweto home in Vilakazi street, which is now a museum. "Now he must rest in peace. It's sad, but he lived his life to the fullest and we are all free."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.21.22 PM.png VIDEO: Dog 'faints' from excitement of seeing owner

    A reunion between a Pennsylvania woman who had been living overseas for two years and her pet schnauzer has gone viral, garnering nearly 20 million views on YouTube.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014