South African parliament honors Nelson Mandela

JON GAMBRELL and CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
December 9, 2013
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A worker trims the grass outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Scores of heads of state and government and other foreign dignitaries, including royalty, are beginning to converge on South Africa as the final preparations for Tuesday's national memorial service for liberation struggle icon Nelson Mandela are put in place. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's parliament has begun a special session honoring Nelson Mandela.

The session began Monday afternoon in Cape Town, with an announcement that members of Mandela's family were sitting in the gallery.

Kgalema Motlanthe, South Africa's deputy president, began the proceedings with a speech. He described how Mandela's influence in South Africa and around the globe caused a "sweeping feeling of sorrow" worldwide following his death.

Motlanthe said: "He belongs to all humanity. ... Mandela's ideals saturate the face of the Earth."

Mandela died Thursday at age 95.