South Africa's Extended Farewell for Nelson Mandela a Mix of Grief, Celebration

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South Africans are giving Nelson Mandela an extended farewell.

Sunday was a national day of prayer for the anti-apartheid leader who became the country's first black president. It was marked by the same bittersweet mix of grief and celebration that's been witnessed since his death Thursday.

Neither the Mandela family nor the South African government has released details on Mandela's final hours or given a cause of death, but a family friend is offering a glimpse. Bantu Holomisa tells The Associated Press that he had been called to Mandela's home on Thursday by the family and found Mandela wasn't on life support. He says Mandela appeared to be sleeping peacefully, but it was obvious that he was finally succumbing to illness. Doctors and many family members were close by, including Mandela's wife Graca, his former wife Winnie, one of his daughters and several of his grand-children.

Meanwhile, foreign dignitaries have begun arriving for Tuesday's massive memorial at a stadium in Johannesburg. More than 50 heads of state are expected, including President Barack Obama.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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