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South Africans held a candlelit vigil outside the house of Nelson Mandela on Thursday night. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images
sage: Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting for peace and freedom. Hundreds of people from Johannesburg, SA, held vigil at Mandela’s home
(Story 1). Story 2 contains the short biography submitted when Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Story 1 - ‘Long live Nelson Mandela, long live!’ By David Smith, The Guardian - December 5, 2013 http://tinyurl.com/lc9ux2a
Despite the late hour, wellwishers from all over Johannesburg descended on Nelson Mandela’s house on hearing the news. First came boys and girls in pyjamas. A touch that Nelson Mandela, who spent long years in prison missing the sound of children, would have loved.
Then they came, in ever greater numbers, men and women, black and white, waving lit candles and South Africa national flags and of course cameraphones, gathering outside Mandela’s house in Houghton, Johannesburg, because they had to be there.
No matter that it had long gone midnight, a time this affluent, tree-lined suburb is usually silent and only the most daring pedestrian ventures forth.
On this night, people came from far and wide and the air filled with chatter, chants and songs including the national anthem and a half-mournful, half-joyous rendition of “Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela, ha hona ya tshwanang le yena” (“There is no one and never will be anyone who compares to him”).
A group toyi-toyi-d in the street clapping and singing their hearts out. Someone shouted: “Long live Nelson Mandela, long live!”
Police struggled, a little gentler than usual, to keep people confined behind tape and allow their flashing light vehicles through. TV satellite vans and cameramen added to the melee. A helicopter clattered overhead.
Among the relaxed multiracial throng was Vusi Moyo, 31, a waiter. “I was at home drinking beer and I saw on TV that Nelson Mandela had died,” he said. “I felt my heart. Why did Mandela die so soon? We still need these men to lead us.”
He added: “These will be difficult days for South Africans. They’re singing the songs they sang when he was in jail because they want to remember him. It’s a very sad day for us.”
Rebecca Mmatli, a 57-year-old in her domestic worker’s uniform, had been woken to be told the news and she, too, had to be here. She had delivered flowers to Mandela’s house before. “I had to see if it’s really true,” she said. “I didn’t expect him to die yet.” She was arm in arm with a white friend, Vivian Goldwajg, 49, who said: “It’s history in the making. We’ve lost an icon who changed the course of the country. It’s incredible sadness, but we’re grateful for the change that took place.”
Story 2 - Nelson Mandela - Biographical From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1993, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1994 http://tinyurl.com/43c2oyl
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law.
He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.
After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC.
This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. His statement from the dock received considerable international publicity.
On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.
During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.
Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.
Johnny Clegg (With Nelson Mandela) - Asimbonanga - 1999