Peo­ple flock to sign book

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 -

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

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