S African Tamil community pays tribute to Mandela
Johannesburg: The south Indian community here has joined thousands of people across communities in paying tribute to the late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
People ahead of his funeral on December 15 descended on Madiba`s residence in the suburb of Houghton here yesterday to honour the iconic leader.
The South African Tamil Federation (SATF) executives led by President Karthi Moothsamy put up a huge banner on the wall outside the residence where Mandela died on Thursday night.
They also placed a huge wreath to add to the mountain of floral tributes, messages by children, candles and pictures of Mandela.
As the SATF ended its tribute, a cavalcade of nearly 200 motorcycles roared past the home as a mark of respect from the biker fraternity.
Then the delegation sped off to Rose Park in the huge Indian township of Lenasia to join a large crowd that had gathered there.
"The Tamil people have shown today that they are united," Moothsamy said at the event. "All the temples we attended had prayer meeting and lit lamps, which we have asked them to continue lighting until the funeral next Sunday".
Moothsamy appealed to all members of the Tamil community to visit the sites of the banners at Rose Park or the Mandela home and light a candle in memory of the iconic leader.
"As you go past them on your way to work or home, just stop to light a candle and say a prayer for the togetherness of our people. Let us show our brothers that we support them in their grief because it is our grief as well," Moothsamy added.
Also in Lenasia, Hindu religion body Iskcon devotees dedicated the annual two-day Festival of the Chariots to Mandela.
Hundreds of devotees followed a banner bearing his image as they pulled the towering chariot through the streets of the area to end at the Lenasia Stadium several hours later.
The chariot honouring Lord Krishna also bore an image of Mandela on the front, believed to be the first time anywhere in the world that this has happened during the Festival, which is held in many countries.
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