5 Dec 2014

South Africa marks first anniversary of Mandela’s death

Events across South Africa pay tribute to Nelson Mandela’s anti-apartheid struggle one year on from his death.


There was a worldwide outpouring of grief when the former South African president’s death was announced one year ago.

Today, veteran campaigners laid wreaths at a Mandela statue in Pretoria. Across the rest of the country crowds gathered to ring bells and blare vuvuzelas for 3 minutes and 7 seconds, before holding 3 minutes of silence in a 6 minute, 7 second tribute to reflect Mandela’s 67 years in public service.

“This moment should call upon us to pause and to reflect on the life of South Africa’s greatest son,” said acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, standing in for Zuma who is visiting China.

South Africa’s first black president, who spent 27 years in apartheid prisons before emerging to preach forgiveness and reconciliation, died last year from a lung infection aged 95.

Mandela statue

Flags around the world, including at No. 10, the White House and the EU, flew at half-mast on the day his death was announced. A funeral was held on 15 December in Qunu, the village in the eastern Cape where he was born.

Meanwhile the Nelson Mandela foundation has released a video detailing Mandela’s life in Lego. The video features Mandela’s best known speech, delivered in 1964 from the dock of a Pretoria courtroom.

The video ends with the words “You’re never too young to know the whole story. Help us keep the legacy alive.”

It asks viewers to sign a petition requesting Lego to create a ‘Madiba: Freedom Fighter’ set.