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NNelson Mandela’s last moments were spent at home in the beautiful, leafy-green suburb of Houghton, Johannesburg. His death, on 5 December 2013 at his Houghton residence, was confirmed by the then president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma.
HHoughton is a peaceful and quiet area much like the village Mandela grew up in, Qunu. He moved into the Houghton house with his wife Graça Machel in 1998 towards the end of his presidency.
Mandela House (Houghton)
AAt the news of his passing, the streets were filled with supporters of the former president. You could hear singing, rhythmic clapping and ululations from streets away. People were dancing in the streets and blowing on vuvuzelas. The crowds were celebrating his life, and it was a coming together of people from all races and walks of life to celebrate Madiba’s life and legacy.
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It was an act that had played out many times in South Africa: a forced removal. In 1904 bubonic plague broke out in the town centre, in an area known as Brickfields. Once the brick makers had been removed 25km south, to Klipspruit, the area was fenced and razed to the ground. And so Soweto was born.