The world pays tribute to Mandela (slideshow)
As South Africans come to terms with the loss of former president Nelson Mandela, the rest of the world bids farewell to Madiba.

Pimples: Saving Madiba's rabbit (video)
Gwede, Mac and Blade try their best to stop the rabbit from whispering in Mandela's ear. But the elusive animal has some tricks up its sleeve.

Zapiro's best Madiba cartoons (slideshow)
From his toughest moments to his most triumphant, Madiba has been an inspiration. Here are some of our favourite Zapiro cartoons about him from 1994 to 2013.

Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
That man, that smile, that dance
That statue. It's an awful thing. With its tiny little head. Frozen with that smile. Frozen in that dance.

Weeks from now we won't even remember what winter was like, heaters packed away, cars parked in shade instead of sun and, between seasons, we will have run out of things to talk about to our domestics and security guards.

('Too cold!” we say. 'Yes, too cold,” they say.)

So, I'm in Nelson Mandela Square -- from its name you might mistake it for something other than a shopping mall -- and, it being a cold day, I'm sitting in the sun on that staircase near the entrance, eating a sandwich, waiting for a friend, filled with that perfect 50/50 of disgust and lust that shopping malls bring out.

Upmarket malls gather the grotesque. Everything is out of proportion.

Breasts out of proportion with bodies, egos out of proportion with intellects, spending out of proportion with credit ratings, children whose libidos are well out of proportion with their ages. Which is why it makes sense that here, Nelson Mandela's head is out of proportion with his body.

But, briefly, back to breasts. I can't say I don't like them. It's just that an uncomfortably overinflated pair are coming right at me. And they're calling me 'lovey”.

The breasts belong to a woman. She's circling 50, but dressed like an oversexed teenager. Lipizzanering around, all heels and lips and eye shadow, madly pulled and plumped, her common sense having years ago been scalpelled out like an unwanted appendix.

She's that woman.

On any day, at any time, any mall has one. Just one. She's like the single electron circling the nucleus of a hydrogen molecule; the natural laws of shopping malls will not tolerate two.

'Lovey,” she says, 'take a picture of my friend and I in front of Madeeeba, love.”

She hands me her fuchsia digital snapper and explains: 'He's foreign.”

She wobbles back to stand in front of the Mandela statue next to a man a couple of decades older, who might've been a Lothario when he was younger, but is now more likely a 'Stan”.

That statue. It's an awful thing. With its tiny little head. Frozen with that smile. Frozen in that dance.
Walking through the mall, this being the birthday month, you can't avoid those pictures. In every shop window. On every LCD screen. That man, that smile, that dance.

It's everything but the halo. It's everything but the teddy bear. I'm wondering, though, what about the action figure? The fearless revolutionary? An enemy of the state? A dangerous man?

I remember the most recent 46664 concert in Johannesburg.

It's a whole-day thing and nobody is sure whether Mandela is going to make an appearance.

Several hours in, the sun is setting, the stadium turf is covered with plastic cups and puddled with beer and the kids and jocks -- almost all of them white -- have long lost interest in Peter Gabriel's muted ruminations and Annie Lennox's philippics and the hysterics of radio presenters doing, live on stage, what they do so well on the radio: annoy us between the music.

Then, the giant speakers all around go quiet.

The crowd doesn't notice at first but then, steadily, the drunken horsing around and projectile vomiting becomes aware of its lack of cover.

The crowd turns to look. Silence.

It's Mandela. Standing there with Graça by his side as if teleported in by Star Trek's Scotty.

A random jock leaps to his feet and cheers that arms-up cheer usually reserved for girls lifting their tops at parties, sending a neat arc of beer into the air.

The stadium roars. And it keeps roaring for what must be minutes. Mandela stands and smiles.

Perhaps bored with the roaring, Nelson tries another look. A downward-facing grimace.

The crowd goes silent.

Ah, but he's only teasing. He smiles again. The crowd goes wild.

He grimaces again.


He smiles.

The stadium cheers.

Then, something unexpected. He smiles and waves. At the same time.

The place explodes! The crowd loves this move.

Except he doesn't stick with it. He keeps switching between moves. And everybody knows what to do with the two happy ones, but the grimace has them confused.

'What does it mean?”

They look around bewildered each time he does it.

I don't know what it means either. He's an old man. For all I know, it might be gas. But what I know is that everybody loves it when he smiles and waves and, even better, does that dance he doesn't do quite so much anymore.

Put on the show, Mandela. Sweet old man.

I lift the fuchsia camera and take the shot. The breasts come over to collect the camera.

As she walks off with Stan, I hear her say: 'Madeeeba, amazing man. If only all the blacks could be like him.”