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A world mourns: Memories of Mandela grace the front pages

“We thank God for you, Madiba. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

A world mourns: Memories of Mandela grace the front pages
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Images: Mike Hogan, Nick Sutton,, individual newspaper websites.

“IT SEEMED AS if he had always been with us,” writes Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the Mail & Guardian this morning, recalling the first time he met Nelson Mandela in the early 1950s.

“He was tall, debonair and cut a dashing figure…Unbelievably, the next time I was to see him was 40 years later, in February 1990, when he and Winnie spent his first night of freedom under our roof at Bishopscourt in Cape Town.”

Describing his friend as “amazing”, “an amazing gift to the world” and “the undisputed icon of forgiveness and reconciliation”, the Archbishop proclaimed the world a better place for having had a Nelson Mandela.

The words are echoed across all tributes this morning as heads of state and ordinary citizens recall memories of Madiba, including the time in 1995 when the South African president walked onto Ellis Park wearing a Springbok jersey after the final of the Rugby World Cup or the images of a free man smiling in the wake of 27 years of incarceration.

“He no longer belongs to us,” said US President Barack Obama last night. “He belongs to the ages.”

Today, the world mourns a great leader, a fact reflected in the global coverage his death is given across newspaper front pages.

More on the death of Nelson Mandela:

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