Global Politics

Video: Those in Cape Town celebrate Mandela's life


Credit: Robyn Murray

The mood was somber and celebratory in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday as hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

People gathered early Friday morning outside of Cape Town's City Hall to remember Nelson Mandela. They laid flowers, prayed, signed their names, danced and sang popular anthems from the anti-apartheid struggle.

“We are crying, but we are also celebrating his legacy,” said Mbuyi Nase. “That great man, he came and was a role model to each and every one.”

Nase said Madiba, as he was affectionately known, was a unifier, and Nase hoped others would take up Mandela’s baton and move forward.

Gibron Collins, a life-long resident of Cape Town, said he was tearful when he awoke Friday morning and heard the news of Mandela’s passing. “He was my biggest icon,” Collins said. “He dedicated his life, and his whole soul was into the people of South Africa … I will miss him dearly.”

Memorial sites sprang up around the country. And an interfaith service was planned for Friday evening in Cape Town's Grand Parade.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Hundreds of mourners gathered at Grand Parade in Cape Town Friday morning.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Mourners laid flowers and wrote tribute notes to beloved icon Nelson Mandela.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    South Africans, ever the entrepreneurs, took advantage of the occasion to sell flowers at the “Madiba Special” price of 20 Rand.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Mourners signed tributes in guest books set up to mark the occasion.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    The gathering took place outside Cape Town City Hall in Grand Parade, a public square where Mandela delivered his historic first speech after he was released from prison in 1990.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Moyra Dick, left, got tearful as she signed her name on a tribute to Madiba.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Those gathered for the memorial reflected the multiracial South Africa that comprised Madiba's "rainbow nation."

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    A celebratory mood was created as mourners broke out in spontaneous song and dance.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Many of the songs sung were popular refrains from the anti-apartheid struggle years.

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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Some of the chanting turned to shouts of Amandla! and Awethu! (Power to the people)

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    Credit: Robyn Murray
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    Credit: Robyn Murray

    Some of the mourners wore gear from the African National Congress, Mandela's storied political party.