HARARE – On Thursday the world lost a well-celebrated global statesman, Nelson Mandela.
He was 95.
The iconic figure credited for delivering South Africa from apartheid rule succumbed to a series of lung infections.
In 1994, Mandela became the first black president in independent South Africa, a position he held until 1999.
Madiba, as he was fondly referred to by his fellow countrymen, also served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 until 1997.
In 1962, Mandela was convicted for conspiracy to overthrow the apartheid government and served 27 years in prison until his lobbied release in 1990.
Our reporter Wendy Muperi took to the streets of Harare to get sentiments on Mandela’s death. Below are the excerpts:
Zelipha Ndlovu (54), Profession: Educationist, Greendale
It does not matter whether one is a Zimbabwean, South African, American, Mandela was just a great man. This is everyone’s loss and it is indeed a sad time.
Emily Bosch (28), Former teacher, Avenues
I was surprised and touched when I heard the news this morning. I was not yet old enough to know about Mandela before his release from prison, but I do know he was such an icon.
I know he will be greatly missed and it is such a sad day.
Lawrence Hungwe (46), Farmer, Hellensvale
Death is death, it can never be nice.
But, well, Mandela died a long time ago, I mourned him in 1990 when he was released from prison.
They killed him at Robben Island. That is the first time he died, in prison, spiritually.
The real Mandela was for the Freedom Charter.
They only released him after killing him spiritually.
That is why you see South Africa has remained the same.
They made deals with a dead man and now ANC has to start all over again.
And, about six months ago, is the second time he died. Now it is the third and formal death of Mandela.
Dennis Choguya (38), Marketing manager, Avondale
I think what is most important is Nelson Mandela managed to build one of Africa’s strongest economies.
In South Africa, we have a great trading partner. It is sad that we have lost him but his achievements were quite remarkable.
Justin Heymans (26), Commodity broker, Borrowdale
It is a very sad thing for such a great man, but you know it is eventually going to come to all of us.