At the start of a week of commemorations, South Africans embarked Sunday on what the authorities have called a day of prayer and reflection following the death of Nelson Mandela, gathering in places of worship, private homes and even open fields to offer spiritual homage to the moral icon of the battle against apartheid, The New York Times is reporting.
South African President Jacob Zuma called on all South Africans to mark the National Day of Prayer and Reflection.
“… Go to stadiums, halls, churches, temples or synagogues tomorrow to celebrate the life of Madiba and through him, that of all other South Africans who sacrificed so much so that we could be free from apartheid colonialism, all of us, Black and white,” said Zuma in a statement on Saturday.
The President declared today a National Day of Prayer and Reflection following the passing away of former President Nelson Mandela on Thursday evening.
Zuma is expected to attend a service at the Bryanston Methodist Church in Johannesburg.
“We should, while mourning, also sing at the top of our voices, dance and do whatever we want to do, to celebrate the life of this outstanding revolutionary who kept the spirit of freedom alive and led us to a new society,” said Zuma. “As South Africans, we sing when we are happy and we also sing when we are sad to make ourselves feel better. Let us celebrate Madiba in this way, which we know best. Let us sing for Madiba.”
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Lead SA and the Soweto Gospel Choir will also host an open interfaith prayer service in honor of Madiba at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton. The event will give people of all faiths and beliefs an opportunity to pay homage to Madiba.
Various services are expected to take place across the country tomorrow in honor of Madiba.
Source: All Africa