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Zimbabweans pay tribute to Mandela

Updated: 2013-12-06 19:56
( Xinhua)

HARARE - Many Zimbabweans on Friday paid tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela who died the previous day.

Mandela, 95, who spent 27 years in prison before released in 1990 to lead a free South Africa four years later, is an icon not only to South Africans, but to many in the world.

John Mhishi, a resident of Harare, said although many people had resigned themselves to the fact that Mandela was old and frail, his death still came as a surprise.

"Sometimes you know that someone will not survive, but when the hammer falls it always comes as a shock," he told Xinhua.

Many Zimbabweans took to social platform Facebook to express sadness on the loss of Mandela.

Bekithemba Mhlanga, writing from Britain, said, "All things come to an end. Nelson Mandela you gave us hope, joy and happiness. "

A former editor of state-run newspaper Herald, Ray Mungoshi, who is now based in South Africa, put a quote from Mandela as he recalled his release from prison: "As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."

Mourning the apartheid fighter, who was also a lawyer, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, described him as a"giant in the struggles for freedom from oppression and the pursuit of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society for all people."

They said in a statement that Mandela leaves a rich legacy that should not be allowed to die and he had bestowed "on us priceless lessons about the values of servant leadership, commitment to principle, collective -- rather than selfish -- action and responsibility, and the importance of generational renewal in the pursuit of new phases in the continuing struggle to improve the lives of our people."

Zimbabwe's former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has described the death of Mandela as a great loss not only to South Africa but the rest of Africa and the world.

"At a personal level, he was a great inspiration; his life an unparalleled testimony to the capacity of humanity to withstand all odds for the greater good of a people," he said in a statement.

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