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  • Mandela's widow Graca Machel in front of a photo of the late former president in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov. 29, 2018.

    Mandela's widow Graca Machel in front of a photo of the late former president in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov. 29, 2018. | Photo: EFE FILE

Published 5 December 2018

Nelson Mandela, renowned anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader, who served as South Africa's President from 1994 to 1999, died at age 95 on December 5, 2013.

South Africa pays homage Wednesday to anti-apartheid fighter and late former President Nelson Mandela on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of his death. Members of the Qunu community, where Mandela grew up, will participate in a peace walk that will culminate at the Mandela Museum.

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The tribute to Nelson Mandela, affectionately referred to as Madiba, is expected to attract people from his birthplace, Mvezo, as well as Qunu and Mqhekezweni.

Chief Zanomthetho Mtirara, who hails from the Mqhekwezeni village -- where Mandela spent 10 years as a teenager, recalled that Mandela had love for everyone, irrespective of nationality and class.

“The wishes that Nelson Mandela had were definitely not only for his family... his wishes would have extended to the wider community, South Africa and the world in general,” Chief Zanomthetho Mtirara, said, according to a report by SABC News.

Mandela -- who became the first black president of South Africa -- was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of conspiring to overthrow the country's brutal apartheid regime. After 27 years in prison, the ex-head of state was released in 1990 and later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

One year later, Madiba became president of South Africa in the first free elections in the country.

The South African leader also received numerous tributes, this year, on the centenary of his birth. The most recent took place, last Saturday, in the form of a major concert in Johannesburg.

The event featured performances by world-renowned artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin, Bob Geldof, Sho Madjozi and Tiwa Savage, among many others.

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