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Mandela family grateful for support

Ndaba Mandela also sent his condolences to the family of boxing legend Baby Jake Matlala.

Family members wish Nelson Mandela a happy 94th birthday at his home in Qunu. Picture: Peter Morey.

JOHANNESBURG - Former president Nelson Mandela's family on Saturday thanked South Africans and the world for their outpouring of love and the overwhelming support as they come to terms with his death.

Madiba died at his Houghton home in northern Johannesburg on Thursday at the age of 95.

South Africans may see Madiba as a member of their own family, but those who truly share his blood are experiencing a very different kind of grief.

Family spokesperson Themba Matanzima said the core of the family is lost.

"While this event is painful, we still embrace the eventuality. The pillar of the royal Mandela household is no more with us physically."

Matanzima says it has obviously been a difficult two days as Mandela was not only a citizen of this country, but of the world.

Madiba's grandson Ndaba Mandela thanked all those who have had the family in mind since the news broke.

He expressed his gratitude for all the kind words and support.

Ndaba also sent his condolences to the family of boxing legend Baby Jake Matlala who passed away on Saturday morning at the age of 51.