Many South Africans are finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that their beloved and world-renowned political legend Nelson Mandela has died. According to reports, Mandela died peacefully on Thursday, 5 December 2013 at 20:50 local time (18:50 GMT) at his Houghton home in Johannesburg.
Soon after the announcement about his death was made, the media went abuzz and celebrities from all over the world started paying tributes to him on social networks, TV and radio stations. Normal broadcasting had to be cancelled on most South African Radio and TV stations.
This is what some of the celebrities and leaders had to say about Mandela on Facebook and Twitter:
Oprah Winfrey: One of the great honors of my life was to be invited to Nelson Mandela’s home, spend private time and get to know him. He was everything you’ve ever heard and more – humble and unscathed by bitterness. And he always loved to tell a good joke. Being in his presence was like sitting with grace and majesty at the same time. He will always be my hero. His life was a gift to us all.
Bill Gates: President Mandela was a remarkable example to us, to our foundation, and to the whole world thanks to a life imbued with courage, dedication and compassion. Our thoughts and prayers are with Graça Machel and President Mandela’s family. We join with the people of South Africa in grieving the loss of this extraordinary and inspirational leader.
Tyler Perry: There were only 3 people that I wanted to meet in life, Nelson Mandela was one of them. What a life, what a journey, what a man. Thank you for passing this way! God bless your resting soul!
Barack Obama: Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived—a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
Tyrese Gibson: We lost a man who literally dedicated his life on making a difference….. His heart will still beat for the world even in heaven…. Winnie and the family my deepest condolences to you I’m sending my energy and prayers to you and your family… Just know that while he was with us he SERVED his God given purpose and saved millions while doing so.
Trevor Noah: Nelson Mandela – One of the funniest and most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. We celebrate your life! #VivaMandela
Idris Elba: What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Hellen Zille: Today we light a candle in the bedroom where Madiba spent the night putting together his 1st cabinet before his 1st Parliament.
Julius Malema: It’s hard times, but our faith as a nation should make us to go through this difficult period in our life time. Salute Cde President
Kenny Kunene: We love you Madiba. All South Africans have lost a Father. Let us all unite in peace as we honour a world Legend.
President Jacob Zuma has announced that Madiba’s funeral will be held on the 15th of December. He said the official memorial service will be held on December 10 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. From December 11 to 13 Madiba’s remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. During this period official memorial services will also be held in all provinces.