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Madiba: Celebs bring flowers, pay tribute

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trevor noah nov 24


Comedian Trevor Noah. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Actors and comedians were among the celebrities who arrived with bouquets of flowers at the Houghton, Johannesburg home of former president Nelson Mandela on Friday.

Among those paying their respects was actress Leeanda Reddy, who plays the character Priya in the soapie Isidingo.

Comedian David Kibuuka, who appears in the television show Late Night News, also put in an appearance.

Twitter celebrity and columnist Khaya Dlanga gave interviews and stayed for a while.

Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane arrived with his son and two large bouquets of flowers.

“He was a great man, we should all learn from him,” Maimane said.

A space for floral tributes and messages outside the house filled up quickly, and a new one had to be opened.

A Proudly SA banner was set up in front of the flowers laid on the grass.

As those who had sang outside the house through the night left, more people arrived and took their place.

A group of women in African National Congress Women's League uniforms sang the national anthem. Members of the public, many with children at their sides joined in.

Others photographed the messages of support and flowers on the lawn along the house's front wall.

Kibuuka was one of the many SA celebrities who also paid tribute to Madiba on Twitter.

“It feels like we’re now a nation of orphans,” he wrote.

TV presenter Bonang Matheba wrote: “How do we even begin to repay you? Possible to work and live because of you. Never met you, but I LOVE you! Thank you Tata. RIP!”

Comedian Trevor Noah said: “Nelson Mandela - One of the funniest and most amazing human beings I've ever met. We celebrate your life!“

"Our Nation loses its greatest Hero. Rest in Peace Tata Nelson Mandela. Thank you so much for all that you did for all of us. May you rest peacefully ," was singer Lira's message.

Meanwhile, South African singer Johnny Clegg released a statement on Madiba’s passing. It read:

My family and I send our condolences to all the Mandela family members on the passing of Tata. We also share with all South Africans and the global community our sense of loss and sadness at his passing.

Nelson Mandela will always define a deep part of what and who are as individuals and as a nation. It is difficult to separate the great journey to secure a democratic and non-racial South Africa from his personal qualities and character. For all South Africans he was the face and form of that voyage, particularly in the crucial decade of 1990–2000.

In the defining and tempestuous years of 1990 through to April 27th 1994 his leadership never gave the impression that he was overwhelmed by events, even in the darkest hours of Boipatong and other atrocities that were meant to derail the negotiations. When at times we felt doubt or fear, his strong resonant voice rolled out over the radio or TV and, like a tide going out, our reservations about the future receded. We took immense nourishment and succor from his fearless and positive attitude. His charismatic openness, straight aim, direct but respectful communication with his opponents was a singularly rare quality in a time of racist and right wing demagoguery. A country in turmoil needs to feel that the Ship of State, riding the storm, is in good hands and he never gave us cause to doubt that the storm would pass and the country would be free. It is the qualities of tolerance and forgiveness however which stand out as his lasting legacy as well as the way he used these to unite the country both during and after his presidency.

With all our fellow South Africans we acknowledge with deep gratitude the debt we owe to this Man from Qunu, who bequeathed us this great country of promise. Today, although we grieve, we also proudly rejoice in his remarkable life, which we were privileged to share through extraordinary times. - Sapa and IOL

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