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South Africans express deep sadness at death of Mandela, celebrate his legacy

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    People light a candle for former president Nelson Mandela on hearing of his death outside his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)The Associated Press

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    FILE - In this Feb. 13, 1990 file photo, Nelson Mandela, right, with his wife, Winnie, participate in a South African Communist Party Rally in the fully-packed Soccer City stadium in Soweto, South Africa, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison. South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, that Nelson Mandela has died. He was 95. (AP Photo, File)The Associated Press

South Africans are reacting to the death of Nelson Mandela with deep sadness at the loss of a man considered by many to be the father of the nation.

Mourners also say it is a time to celebrate the achievements of the iconic former South African president and anti-apartheid leader.

One Johannesburg resident, 31-year-old Hamsa Moosa, said after the 95-year-old Mandela died Thursday night that he "wouldn't be free" if not for the man affectionately known by his clan name "Madiba."

A 29-year-old accountant, Thumelo Madikwe, says Mandela played his role in the world "very well" and that he lived a long life.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela's death late Thursday.