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S Africa Chinese community pays tribute to Mandela

Updated: 2013-12-08 10:03

JOHANNESBURG - Chinese community in Johannesburg on Saturday came to where Nelson Mandela left the world to present flowers, cards, candles and prays, expressing deep feelings about the saint in their minds.

"We call him a saint, because he did what nobody could ever make it in the world," Sun Yaoheng, councilor of Johannesburg, said, while many Chinese burst in tears on site in front of the Houghton house.

A blessing wall of flowers, pictures and other beautiful things appeared in the intersection leading to the Mandela house where he passed away on Thursday.

Dozens of Chinese South Africans held candles, flowers, and photographs of Mandela walking toward the wall, among whom some held tears in eyes, some prayed with sincere words, and some cried out the farewell as "Mandela, thanks and goodbye!"

Police blocked all the roads several blocks away from the Mandela house except only two lanes. The Chinese group marched through the lane heavily guarded by police officers, and came to the wall to contribute the blessing tokens and express the grief for the death of Mandela.

The Chinese community held lots of good memories about the former president.

Li Xinzhu told Xinhua that in 1998 a Chinese child was killed unfortunately in a robbery incident in the old CBD of Johannesburg. "It was the first time that Chinese held a demonstration protest against such kind of vicious crime. Nelson Mandela, President at that time, met with Chinese representatives at the Union Building, and accepted the petition."

Mandela even went to the victim's home carrying a message of sympathy the next day after the protest march, he said, adding he left a very deep impression.

"We do not sing and dance at a moment like this. We, Chinese, like to mourn the grief quietly, but our heart feels the pain just like others," Sun said.

"He has gone beyond the boundaries of races, and become a banner of peace and democracy for all mankind. We just want to see him off through the great man's final journey," Sun said.

A South African born Chinese told Xinhua that "When Mandela was alive, he concerned about the development of the Chinese community. He often talked with Chinese and visit their homes, which is why many Chinese got Mandela in the family's photo albums now."

"It was very touching for a nation leader to do that for us Chinese who were on the other side of the world from homeland," Zhou said.

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