South African papers pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

A man reads, in Soweto on December 6, 2013, a local newspaper, The Star, with the front page dedicated to South African former President Nelson Mandela, following his death in Johannesburg on the eve The South African press is remembering the legacy of Nelson Mandela

"The end of your long walk, the end of an era, may your legacy live on" - this headline in a South African daily sums up the sombre mood among the public and the press over Nelson Mandela's death.

Most comments, headlines and captions are reflecting a sense of sadness, but add that the world needs to "follow his legacy and celebrate his life".

The Mail and Guardian headline reads: "Madiba: A symbol of the power of good".

The Herald says Mr Mandela was "a son of our soil, the founding father of our nation, who spent his entire life fighting to change our lives for the better".

The paper further highlights the importance of the leader's legacy for South Africa and the world.

"In every village, suburb, township, church, school and community hall in South Africa, men, women and children are in mourning for a man who was hidden from history for 27 years, yet lived in our imaginations as the feisty, courageous and utterly human symbol of liberation most of us yearned for," it says.

A commentary in South Africa's Business Day echoes similar sentiments, saying the nation has lost its favourite son.

"Our nation has lost a colossus, an epitome of humility, equality, justice, peace and the hope of millions; here and abroad... The large African baobab, who loved Africa as much as he loved South Africa, has fallen. Its trunk and seeds will nourish the earth for decades to come... Rest in peace, Comrade President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela," it adds.

Mandela's legacy to live on

Most papers feel Mr Mandela's achievements and his ideas remain etched in the collective memory of millions of people around the world.

The Mail and Guardian, in an editorial, says "our farewell bid to Nelson Mandela must not be final - we must refuse to say goodbye to his example, his ideals, and the dream we share with him".

Mr Mandela's friend and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada paid his tribute in an article in the Times Live website.

"Farewell my elder brother, my mentor, my leader. With all the energy and determination at our command, we pledge to join the people of South Africa and the world to perpetuate the ideals and values for which you have devoted your life," he writes.

The Citizen reflects the emotions of people in Soweto - a city Mr Mandela made his home for many years - about their Tata (father).

"We are not here to mourn but to commemorate, honour, and celebrate him because of everything he has done," the paper quotes a resident as saying.

The Star published a full-page picture of Mr Mandela on its front-page with "The World Weeps" as its top headline - perhaps a message that shows how much the nation loved and admired their hero.

The website of IOL, a group which owns several news websites in South Africa, explains why a mood of celebration is prevailing over mourning in South Africa.

"His charisma, generosity of spirit, and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of his fellow humans, earned him love and acclaim across the globe," it says

And finally, The Citizen gives the link to what it calls Mr Mandela's first-ever TV interview.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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