South African children cheer and pose beside the Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on December 5, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS)
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South Africans prayed, sang and fell silent Friday to mark the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death, honoring the Nobel laureate's role in vanquishing racist white rule.U.S. President Barack Obama also joined South Africans in paying homage to Mandela.During the service, bells tolled for three minutes and seven seconds – followed by three minutes of silence: a six-minute and seven-second dedication to Mandela's 67 years of public service.Bizos – who provided legal representation for Mandela, Kathrada and other activists charged with sabotage in the 1960s – implicitly criticized Mandela's successors.Mandela passed away last year at the age of 95, after a long period of illness.He set South Africa on a course toward reconciliation after he emerged unbowed from nearly three decades in prison in 1990 and became the country's first president to be elected by universal suffrage in 1994 .His onetime jailer FW de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela in 1993, called on South Africans to honor his legacy.
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