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Nelson Mandela: South Africa is united in grief

The death of South Africa's first black president sparked scenes of sorrow and joyful remembrance in his homeland

By Justice Malala  

Nelson Mandela with his predecessor Frederik de Klerk in 1992

JOHANNESBURG—They were singing freedom songs in Soweto this morning.

A common, mournful tune, sung in the Sesotho language, was among the more popular as dawn approached: “Nelson Mandela! Nelson Mandela! Ha hona ya tshwanang le ena! (No one compares to him!).”

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s greatest and most famous son, had passed away peacefully at 8.50pm local time on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced. A hush fell over the nation, and then a cacophony of commentary and tributes…

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