Hundreds gather for E Cape memorial

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A picture taken by Jurgen Schadeberg on October 13, 1958, shows Nelson Mandela and Moses Kotane leaving the old synagogue after the State withdrew its indictment during the Treason Trial. It hangs in Mandelas room at the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Photo: Themba Hadebe

Mthatha - Hundreds of people gathered at a memorial service in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape for former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday.

The hall at the King Sabata Dalinyebo FET College was packed with people.

Speakers included Faziz Khan from the Pakistani community. African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe was also scheduled to speak.

Before stepping up to the podium, Khan went to a poster with Mandela's face on it and kissed it.

“I was one of the persons who also loved him,” said Khan.

He said Mandela fought for everyone and did not just belong to a certain group of people.

Before taking his seat again he asked the hall to stand up and chant: “We love you Madiba.”

Between speakers, the crowd sang and danced.

A group of about 40 women, dressed in green and black ANC Women's League attire, danced and sang in front of the hall while the band played.

The ANC organised the memorial service and the hall was made up in green, yellow, and black.

Banners, flags, shirts and material with pictures of Mandela's face on it filled up the hall.

The event was overseen by military guards both outside and inside the hall.

Mantashe sat on the stage with other speakers while he waited for his turn to speak.


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