Neighbours gather outside Mandela home

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AFP

South African police set up a cordon outside the house of former South African president Nelson Mandela following his death in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013.. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

Johannesburg - South Africans expressed shock following the news of former president Nelson Mandela's passing on Thursday.

Scores of Mandela's neighbours were gathered outside his Houghton resident as President Jacob Zuma announced to the nation that Mandela died at 8.50pm on Thursday.

Some huddled around a car to hear Zuma's announcement.

Many of them were in their pyjamas.

“I am shocked... I can't believe it,” said eight-year-old Riaaz Muhamad who was outside the Mandela residence.

Dominic Sadie,19, said: “If it wasn't for Mandela, I wouldn't be chilling with my black friends. I love him.”

A mother who came to the Mandela house with her two daughters broke down and cried.

“I am glad that he is in a better place but I hope South Africans will be able to deal with his death,” she said.

Zuma said flags around the country would be flown at half mast from Friday until his funeral.

“Our beloved Madiba will be accorded a state funeral. I order that all flags be lowered to half mast from tomorrow 6 December and to remain at half mast till after the funeral as we gather to pay our last respects,” Zuma said. - Sapa


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