Parliament unified in Madiba tribute

Parliament’s joint sitting in honour of Madiba was a rare display of unity and shared loss.

Images of Nelson Mandela adorn the pillars of Parliament in Cape Town. People filled the surrounding area to watch a special sitting to honour Madiba there on large screens, 9 December 2013. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliamentarians on Monday paid tribute to Nelson Mandela in a special joint sitting of both houses in Parliament.

South Africa's first democratically elected president passed away on Thursday 5 December at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

He was 95-years-old.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said South Africans will continue Mandela's long walk to freedom.

He made the pledge as politicians came together in a rare display of unity on Monday to pay their respects to the father of the nation.

Instead of political sniping, harmony was the order of the day as Parliament took its leave of its first black president.

Radebe came close to tears delivering his tribute:

"The world will never be the same again."

A similar message came from Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille.

"He's handed the baton to us and we dare not drop it."

Hundreds of ordinary South Africans attended the historic joint sitting.