By Arwa Damon and Faith Karimi, CNN
Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) — In a symbol befitting a nation in mourning, dark gray clouds swept over Johannesburg on Friday.
Under overcast skies that threatened to rain any minute, South Africans draped in flags and images of Nelson Mandela gathered on the streets to sing and dance.
Children spelled out “we love you Mandela” on the grass using rocks near his home in the suburb of Houghton. Nearby, stuffed animals and flowers sat in a heap.
Others wept as they lit candles.
Mandela, 95, died Thursday. The nation’s first black president battled health issues in recent years, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.
President Jacob Zuma announced the loss late Thursday night, long after many South Africans had gone to bed.
They didn’t find out until Friday morning.