Western Cape opens Mandela tribute sites

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Children hold pictures of Nelson Mandela as they pay tribute following his death in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP

Cape Town - Western Cape residents will be able to visit one of 160 sites to pay tribute to former president Nelson Mandela, premier Helen Zille said on Friday.

“So many sites are associated indelibly with Mandela,” she told reporters in Cape Town.

People would be able to visit these sites, mostly at community halls across the province, and leave a message and memento.

Half of the sites would be running on Friday and the other half by Saturday morning.

The location and global positioning system co-ordinates would be made available on the province's website.

Zille said ferries to Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated during apartheid, would continue to operate for those who had pre-booked.

The city of Cape Town would also hold an inter-faith service at the Grand Parade at 5pm.

Zille said the focal point of the service was the balcony of the city hall overlooking the Grand Parade, where Mandela delivered his speech after being released from prison in February 1990.

She spoke kindly of Mandela, her eyes welling with tears.

“As we unite in our grief, we remember that no walk to freedom is ever done,” she said.

“Madiba was, quite simply, the greatest South African who has ever lived and we as a nation have an extraordinary honour of having given birth as a country to the greatest statesman and best-known international icon of today.”

She extended condolences to Mandela's family.

Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night.


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