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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As flags were lowered to half mast, people across South Africa commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday as the government prepared funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe.
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - Residents of Soweto, the bedrock of black resistance against apartheid rule, sang and danced as they paid their respects to the late peace icon Nelson Mandela outside his former home on Friday. A small crowd of admirers, some dressed in the ruling ANC party's yellow t-shirts, braved an unseasonal chilly summer morning to lay flowers outside Mandela's former residence, which is now a museum and a popular tourist attraction. Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after battling white-minority apartheid, died late on Thursday following a protracted lung infection. He lived in the Soweto house with then-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela before he went underground in the early 1960s.
The death of South Africa's liberation leader Nelson Mandela has unleashed a heartfelt chorus of awed respect from across the worlds of politics, religion, sport and culture. Statesmen, resistance leaders, Nobel laureates and prisoners of conscience have died before, but never has one man united such global unity in honoring his passing. Foreshadowing the guest list of what will surely be the most important funeral of recent decades, world leaders queued up to issue solemn tributes to the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero who became South Africa's first democratic president. he belongs to the ages," Barack Obama, America's first black president, said in a deliberate echo of an early tribute paid to Abraham Lincoln, the president who emancipated the slaves.