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www.wmfd.com - The magnitude of Nelson Mandela's role in South African life was reflected in the sheer number of people who turned out Sunday to remember him. . }}" />

   
 
 
Nelson Mandela National Day Of Prayer And Reflection

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 12/9/2013

The magnitude of Nelson Mandela's role in South African life was reflected in the sheer number of people who turned out Sunday to remember him. CNN's Arwa Damon has a look at the services dedicated to Mandela at places of worship. "What message, that Matiba had brought to the world that you do not have in your life? As we light that candle, pray." Sixty-four-year-old Julie Skosana has been coming here, to the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, her entire life. "Today it was a special mass for Mr. Matiba. It was very special," she says. "At the time he came from Robin Island he said peace, and we must hold that peace so that where he is he will be very pleased." Soweto was at the heart of the uprising against apartheid. "Older members of the congregation that we've been talking to were describing how they were being flooded with memories," says CNN's Arwa Damon. "During the struggle against apartheid, people used to run to this church when they were trying to flee and hide from the authorities." There are still bullet holes in the windows. "I remember very well, things were difficult for everybody for black people in this country," says Tommy Zwane. "We used to run to this church and pray to God so that He could come and assist us because we were in trouble in that time. There was no understanding between us and the government of South Africa." Life for his four-year-old grandson starkly different. Saved from oppression. In a suburb of Pretoria, once the seat of the apartheid government, thanking the Lord for the man who saved them from revenge. Crewe Brown remembers the day he led grace at Mandela's inaugural lunch. "His presence in our lives meant so much for the Afrikaner people, allowed them to get rid of their guilt feeling," says Wilhem Jordaan. "I think everybody love Mandela, I think he did his part, but true reconciliation, I am still not sure if its really, I don't see it everyday," says Elizna Brutten. But today, Mandela's death has reminded people of what he stood for and the nation they still need to work to create. Kathy and Stewart Allen don't usually come to church here in Soweto. "Why did you feel it was so important, significant to be at this particular church on this day?" asked CNN's Arwa Damon. "We believe that this church, it embodies all of the history and what he stood for," says Kathy Allen. "I believe that once again Mr. Mandela has brought the whole country back together," says Stewart Allen. There are many events planned to say farewell to the iconic figure who helped South Africa break the practice of racial segregation and do sway with white minority rule. A massive memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday in Johannesburg's FNB Stadium, which can hold 94,000 people.
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