South Africans held a day of prayer and reflection across the country on Sunday at the start of week-long commemorations for Nelson Mandela. FRANCE 24 went to Soweto, where parishioners both mourned and celebrated their late leader.
South African officials called for a national day of prayer and reflection on Sunday following the death of democracy icon Nelson Mandela. Across the majority Christian country, people of all faiths gathered to remember the life of the late leader, who died on Thursday aged 95.
The day of worship marked the beginning of a week dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of South Africa's anti-apartheid hero. A memorial service in a Johannesburg stadium will be held Tuesday, and a state funeral is expected to bring over 70 world leaders to South Africa on December 15.
President Jacob Zuma joined Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a service at the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Zuma asked church members to reflect on Mandela’s legacy and pray for the future of the country.
FRANCE 24 went to Soweto, the cradle of the anti-apartheid movement, to find out how parishioners of Saint Peter Claver Catholic church paid tribute to the country's first balck president.
"Even the clouds, sky and weather seem to agree with us that we are saddened by the passing of Nelson Mandela," Bishop Maselwane Mohara told Saint Peter Claver’s Catholic Church in Soweto, referring to stormy weather over the weekend.
"I thank God for sending us Mandela," said 78-year-old Elisabeth, a retired florist from Soweto.
"We need books so those who are not born yet will know who Mandela was and what he did," said Hans, 83, who sells Bibles and rosaries outside the church.
Songs of praise for the much-loved Mandela.
Parishioners listen to Sunday’s sermon honouring South Africa's first black president.
Parishioners in Soweto joined worshippers across the country observing the national day of prayers and reflection on the life of Mandela.
The day of prayer opened an entire week devoted to celebrating Mandela's achievements and legacy.
Date created : 2013-12-09