Mandela Death: Day Of Prayer In South Africa

These mourners attended an early morning service at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, a focal point of the apartheid struggle
These mourners attended an early morning service at the Regina Mundi church in Soweto, a focal point of the apartheid struggle

People in South Africa are taking part in a day of “prayer and reflection” for late President Nelson Mandela.

President Jacob Zuma will attend a service in a Methodist church in Johannesburg, with other multi-faith services planned throughout the day.

A national memorial service will be held on Tuesday, ahead of a state funeral on 15 December.

South Africans have been holding vigils since Mr Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.

President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans to go to stadiums, halls, churches, and other places of worship on Sunday to remember their former leader.

“We should, while mourning, also sing at the top of our voices, dance and do whatever we want to do, to celebrate the life of this outstanding revolutionary who kept the spirit of freedom alive and led us to a new society. Let us sing for Madiba,” he said, using Mr Mandela’s clan name.

Mr Mandela’s successor as president, Thabo Mbeki, will attend a service at the Oxford Shul synagogue in Johannesburg in the afternoon.

Other senior politicians and ANC officials will go to services across the city, and the country.

Although crowds have already been out in many towns and cities, the government and the ANC want to make more scattered communities feel more intimately involved.

The focal points for public remembrance have so far been Mr Mandela’s house in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton and his old home in Soweto, with mourners lighting candles and laying thousands of wreaths of flowers.

Mr Mandela’s body will lie in state on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the heart of the South African government in Pretoria.

BBC

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