Supermodel Naomi Campbell sobs for ‘grandfather’ Nelson Mandela

Supermodel Naomi Campbell broke down in tears as she led the tributes for Nelson Mandela yesterdaySupermodel Naomi Campbell broke down in tears as she led the tributes for Nelson Mandela yesterday [AFP/GETTY]

Using Mr Mandela’s clan name, she declared: “Only Madiba could bring everyone together like this.”

Streatham-born Ms Campbell, 43, added: “I got to know him for 20 years and it’s an honour and a blessing and I’m truly in awe and will always be eternally grateful.

“Sharing, forgiving and a lot of things. He means a lot to me and I have a lot of wonderful memories. He is someone I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life.”

Ms Campbell, who grew extremely close to Mr Mandela and even referred to him as her “honorary grandfather”, said his death should not be a cause only for grief.

She explained: “It’s about celebrating his life, we feel sad and grieve but it’s not all I think he would want. He wants us to celebrate his life and his legacy.”

Using Mr Mandela’s clan name, she declared: “Only Madiba could bring everyone together like this.”

Streatham-born Ms Campbell, 43, added: “I got to know him for 20 years and it’s an honour and a blessing and I’m truly in awe and will always be eternally grateful.

“Sharing, forgiving and a lot of things. He means a lot to me and I have a lot of wonderful memories. He is someone I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life.”

Ms Campbell, who grew extremely close to Mr Mandela and even referred to him as her “honorary grandfather”, said his death should not be a cause only for grief.

She explained: “It’s about celebrating his life, we feel sad and grieve but it’s not all I think he would want. He wants us to celebrate his life and his legacy.”

 Nelson Mandela is referred to as Naomi Campbell’s honorary grandfather [GETTY]

            Sharing, forgiving and a lot of things. He means a lot to me and I have a lot of wonderful memories. He is someone I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life

Naomi Campbell

She was nevertheless pictured leaving the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where Mr Mandela’s body lies in state, visibly upset behind a pair of trademark oversized sunglasses.

Also at the lying in state were U2 frontman Bono, 53, reviled Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, 89, and FW de Klerk, 77, South Africa’s last white president, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Mandela, and current South African president Jacob Zuma, 71.

Thousands of people queued to pay their final farewell to Mr Mandela along with his widow, Graca, family members, foreign dignitaries and celebrities.

Standing in line, Islamic teacher Habib Urehem, 66, said: “I want to see him. Even if I have to stand here for three hours, I want to see him. It’s my last chance.”

Several of those in the queue fainted in the stifling heat as people patiently waited their turn to file past Mr Mandela’s wooden casket.

Mr Mandela will lie in state in Pretoria for the next three days then on Sunday he will be buried at his childhood village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province

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