Johannesburg - Former state president Nelson Mandela was the last icon standing in the world, former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Friday.
“Madiba was a clean icon. He left us nation building, reconciliation and good governance as a legacy to remember him.”
He said Mandela had extended a hand of peace to his enemies.
“He was not bitter. He made friendship with his enemies. He taught us peace.”
African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said Mandela saved South Africa from a civil war.
“He preached peace. He forgave those who put him in prison. He taught us to forgive.”
Meshoe said it was for South African politicians to carry on from the foundation Mandela had built.
The president of the SA Council of Churches, Bishop Jo Seoka, said South Africa had to carry on the values for which Mandela stood.
“You must carry his legacy of peace and reconciliation. Remain calm as you commemorate the life of Madiba,” he told a crowd outside Mandela's house in Johannesburg, where he died on Thursday night at the age of 95.
The crowd sang struggle song and carried Mandela's portrait over their heads.
Women and children put candles and flowers on the lawn near the house. - Sapa