Candles were lit and roses placed in front of former president Nelson Mandela’s old house in Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg, on Friday morning.
An old man constantly lit the candles as the wind blew them out.
People, most of them young, praised the anti-apartheid icon as they arrived at the house where Mandela once lived, and took photos.
Vilakazi Street was closed to traffic.
People danced and sang struggle songs celebrating Mandela’s life.
Most people wore clothes with his face printed on them or ANC T-shirts.
Lesedi Motloung, 19, from Protea South in Soweto, stood alone away from the singing and dancing crowd, staring at the candles and roses placed at the entrance of the house.
“I have decided to have a moment of silence here. I am very sad. Madiba was our hero as the youth of SA.”
He said Mandela was a wise man and a great icon who was going to be dearly missed by the world.
Local and international media also gathered at the house.
In Zulu, a group sang: “He is the soldier of Umkhonto and there is no one like him.”
Naledi Amos, 12, from Randburg, said she went to his Houghton home before she went to Soweto to celebrate Mandela and his legacy.
“I know he fought for our freedom and now we go to school [and] we get equal education and resources, unlike… apartheid,” said Amos, dressed in her pyjamas.
She said her parents had taught her about Mandela’s history.