Soweto neighbour remembers Mandela

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iol nws dec 8 cz vilakazi street


A man gestures during a gathering of mourners on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Johannesburg - A neighbour living a street away from Nelson Mandela' former residence in Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto, fondly remembers the former president.

“My mother and I met Madiba when he was campaigning for the ANC after he was released from prison,” said Xolani Khoba, who lives in Lembede Street, next to Vilakazi Street.

“He came into our house to ask us how we are and said that he wanted to help the community improve their living conditions.

“It was such a blessing seeing the thousands of people coming to pay their respects to Tata.

Khoba and his family have lived in the same house in Lembede Street for four generations.

Mandela moved into the house with his first wife Evelyn Mase in 1946, according to the website

After their divorce he lived there from 1958 with his second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

He spent a brief time in the house after his release from prison in 1990.

He died at his Houghton home, north of Soweto, on Thursday night at the age of 95.

The Vilakazi Street house is now a museum and national monument.


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