SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- People in South Africa are marking the first anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela who passed away at the age of 95 last year.
The official ceremonies which began early Friday consist of an interfaith prayer service followed by a wreath-laying commemoration by veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle.
In a statement to mark the anniversary of Mandela’s departure, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-apartheid activist, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said, “Our obligation to Madiba is to continue to build the society he envisaged, to follow his example.”
“A society founded on human rights, in which all can share in the rich bounty God bestowed on our country,” he added.
During the ceremonies, bells, hooters and traditional horns will be sounded for three minutes and seven seconds, followed by three minutes of silence, to commemorate Mandela’s 67 years of public service.
A cricket match is also included in the memorial ceremony.
Mandela passed away in his Johannesburg home after a long battle against lung illness.
Mandela, who led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s after nearly three decades in prison, was one of the towering political figures of the 20th century.
He served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election.
Mandela received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.