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Sports dept thanks participants of Mandela Walk

At least 8,000 people took part in the event which started at Freedom Park earlier today.

Tata Madiba's Statue at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANENSBURG - The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts and Culture have thanked all those who participated in the Nelson Mandela Remembrance Walk in Pretoria.

The event is a symbolic commemoration of the late former president's legacy, signifying one year since his body made its final journey to his home in Qunu.

At least 8,000 people took part in the event which started at Freedom Park earlier today and proceeded to the Union Buildings, where a wreath laying ceremony was held.

The walk was led by Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel, struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

The former statesman died on the 5th of December last year surrounded by his family and close friends.

The global icon had been receiving treatment for a lung infection since September 2013.

A number of events to commemorate his legacy have been held around the country.

The department's Nomazwe Ntlokwana says today's walk in honor of Madiba was a great success.

"As the day unfolded there was jubilation and we were quite excited with the manner in which the first event of this magnitude panned out."

Mandela was elected South Africa's first black president after spending nearly three decades in prison.

Madiba was laid to rest in his childhood and ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on 15 December 2013.

When the news first broke a year ago, the nation mourned and celebrated the man who will always be remembered as a pillar of strength for all South Africans.