People flock to sign book
HUNDREDS of people streamed to the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday evening to sign a book of condolences following Mandela’s death.
Security guard Isaac Bonolo said he had spent the day trying to get a chance to visit the Union Buildings and sign the condolences book.
“I did not work well today. My heart was here. Life in South Africa will not be the same without a father figure like Tata. Who are we going to look up to?” Bonolo asked.
“Mandela was the inspiration for all South Africans, black and white.”
A queue of people waiting to write a message in the book snaked into the Union Buildings’ main entrance.
Unemployed father of four, Trevor Bika, said he walked more than 20km from Mamelodi East to convey his condolences.
“The old man has left us a huge responsibility, which is to inculcate into our children the values of ubuntu. Africa and the world have lost a great son.”
Former Belgian ambassador to South Africa Jan Mutton arrived at the Union Buildings with a bunch of flowers.
“I had the privilege of working with Mandela during my… diplomatic career,” said Mutton.
“He was a very generous and friendly person… We are here to remember an exceptional life.”
A row of candles was lit near the Union Buildings’ entrance. Several buses brought tourists.
Many children came; some pasted pictures on the vast walls.
Michelle and Destiny Jaramba’s mother led them to lay flowers and write messages of condolence.
Eight-year-old Michelle said she had been saddened by Mandela’s death. “To Nelson Mandela, I will miss you dearly. I want to follow in your footsteps,” she said. – Sapa