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December 09, 2013 AT 3:52 AM
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.