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Dorset Pays Tribute to Inspirational Mandela

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12:38pm 6th December 2013

Tributes are being paid to Nelson Mandela who has died peacefully at his home aged of 95.

The former South African president fought against apartheid and led his country to democracy and became one of the world's most revered leaders in history.

He had been battling a recurrent lung and spent time in and out of hospital. He had been in frail health for several years.

Mandela was South Africa's first black president and a global icon of hope, diplomacy and forgiveness after fighting for equal rights during the turbulent years of Apartheid.

There have been scenes of happiness outside his home in Johannesburg - with people singing and dancing in celebration of his life.

The strength and breadth of his worldwide appeal has been reflected in tributes from all corners of the world, including here in Dorset.

Sarah Prisgrove runs a South African shop in Dorset. Fighting back the tears she said he was an inspirational figure;

"He brought a sense of calmness to the whole nation. That's what he was all about and he managed to somehow get that across to everybody..... He was amazing."

"Now that all the different races go to school together and grew up together, that discrimination that was so evident to me when I grew up has just dissolved. There genuinely is a multicultural society. Without Mandela it could've been very different."

Sue Seymour now lives in Weymouth but spent 30 years in South Africa. She's recently opened up Mamma Spaza's Shop in the Colwell Centre. Sue was there during and after apartheid and hopes that work he achieved will continue;

"Nelson Mandela was trying to make freedom and peace, so let's hope he has both freedom and peace now, nobody will forget him. Hopefully they'll try and carry on his legacy."

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