Rain tests Ellis park mourners’ resolve

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IOL  South Africa Mandela Mourning~48

AP

Flowers, posters, and messages left by mourners lie in front of Nelson Mandela's old house in Soweto. Picture: Ben Curtis

Johannesburg - Many of those who gathered at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday to watch the memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela were driven away by persistent rain.

An hour after the memorial service started, there was a mass exodus.

Only about 100 people remained to watch the live broadcast of events from FNB Stadium in Soweto, where world leaders, celebrities and thousands of ordinary South Africans were paying tribute to Mandela.

One of those who remained was Brazilian missionary Karina Santos.

She initially made her way to FNB Stadium but was discouraged by the weather and long queues.

“In Brazil, Madiba is a hero who was willing to live and die for his people and the world,” Santos said.

She was joined by Grace Menzah, of Ghana, who said it was important for them to watch the memorial service to show their solidarity with South Africans.

A stage was set up at the northern side of the stadium, where Mandela, wearing a replica jersey, famously presented the Webb Ellis Cup to victorious Springbok captain Francois Pienaar at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Sapa


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