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South Africa and the world mourns the passing of iconic statesman Nelson Mandela

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South Africans have gathered in Johannesburg and Soweto to mourn their former leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday aged 95. CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR FULL GALLERY There was dancing and singing in front of Mr Mandela's former home in Soweto as his people paid tribute throughout the night.


As soon as the news broke in a late night national TV address by President Jacob Zuma, small crowds began to gather in Soweto's Vilakazi Street, where the iconic leader lived in the 1940s and 1950s. By daybreak, dozens more had gathered. "We are celebrating his life and all that he did for us," one of the mourners, Terry Mokoena, told the BBC. Crowds also gathered outside Mr Mandela's current home, in Johannesburg's northern suburb of Houghton, where he died.

In London, mourners laid flowers and tributes at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square and at South Africa House. Flags are being flown at half-mast on government buildings in Washington DC, Paris, London and across South Africa.

A service of national mourning for Mr Mandela — affectionately known by his clan name Madiba — is expected to be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Monday. Mr Mandela's body will lie in state in the capital, Pretoria, before being taken for a state funeral on Sunday 15 December in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up.

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