US star pays respects at Madiba’s home

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Motshwari Mofokeng

Kirk Franklin speaking to the media after arriving at Southern Sun Hotel. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Johannesburg - US gospel singer Kirk Franklin arrived at former president Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Friday.

“This is a sad day but also a day to pay respects and remember what Nelson Mandela fought for,” he told journalists gathered near the house.

Franklin is set to perform at Rhema church in Randburg on Friday. He arrived in the country on Thursday.

He briefly listened to the crowds singing struggle songs before leaving. Mandela died in his Houghton home on Thursday night.

Rivonia trialist Andrew Mlangeni arrived at the house just after 9am. He was followed by activist Eleanor Sisulu who arrived in a silver Mercedes-Benz sedan and was led by police into the house.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota made an appearance minutes later, waving to the crowd as he went inside.

More people arrived as the morning passed, placing flowers and messages of support.

Darren “Thandabantu” Wilson wore a shirt bearing Mandela's picture.

“I shook hands with Mandela in 1996 when he came to open a new building, he was smiling and greeted everyone... I will never forget that day.”

Wilson said he was given the Thandabantu name by his colleagues in the 1990s. - Sapa

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