South Africans mark anniversary of Mandela’s death

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South Africans are marking the anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela. The former statesman died Dec. 5 last year after a long illness at the age of 95.

Speaking at a formal ceremony on Friday in the capital Pretoria, Mandela’s widow Graca Machel said the former president was at peace when he died.

The ceremony held at the foot of a bronze statue of the Nobel laureate was attended by the Mandela family, his close friend and fellow Robben Island prison inmate Ahmed Kathrada and his lawyer George Bizos.

The ceremony was followed by an interfaith service at Freedom Park, an open-air memorial, also in Pretoria.

Commemoration ceremonies are being held around the country, including at Mandela’s ancestral home in Qunu, in the country’s Eastern Cape Province.

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