Nelson Mandela laid to rest in his rural home

Home » HEADLINES » Nelson Mandela laid to rest in his rural home

By Zimbabwe Investor on December 16, 2013.

Local dignitaries and international VIPs including the Prince of Wales and Oprah Winfrey attended the church service, before Mr Mandela was lowered into the ground at around 11am British time.

Nelson Mandela’s remains were returned to his beloved rural childhood village of Qunu on the eve of a traditional burial, the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey.

On Saturday afternoon a funeral cortege with his flag-draped casket entered the gates of Mr Mandela’s homestead in the remote village of Qunu, accompanied by a phalanx of military vehicles.

Nr Mandela is being buried near the homestead, ending 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world.

The queue to see the former president at one point stretched for over a mile. Many were unable to complete their mission and a surge of people tried to reach the coffin as viewings ended on Friday night.

His lying in state in Pretoria was part of a week of events celebrating the anti-apartheid hero’s life. It followed a memorial service at stadium in Johannesburg where US President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.

On Sunday after his death South Africans crowded into churches, mosques, temples and synagogues to remember Mr Mandela.

In the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the once blacks-only township of Soweto, parish priest Sebastian Rossouw called Mandela “a light in the darkness” and praised his capacity for “humility and forgiveness”.

Inside the church, once used as a sanctuary by anti-apartheid activists during police raids, a single candle illuminated a portrait of Mandela with a raised-fist salute.

After his death was announced late on the night of Thursday December 5, South Africans gathered outside the former president’s home in Johannesburg to pay tribute to the man revered as the father of the country.

Mr Mandela died at home at 9pm local time (7pm GMT) on Thursday night after suffering from a lung infection. His death was announced shortly after on television by South Africa president Jacob Zuma.

Mr Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, and some of his three children, 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were with him in his final days, with other family and friends in attendance.

President Barack Obama led the world in mourning the South African leader’s passing, who he described as “a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.