Pictures : South Africa buries its greatest son “Nelson Mandela”

Nelson Mandela’s flag-draped coffin is being carried to his final resting place in the remote village where the anti-apartheid icon grew up after his four-hour state funeral took place this morning.
South Africa’s first black President died in his Johannesburg home on December 5, at the age of 95 after a long battle with illness and will now be laid in his grave in Qunu in Eastern Cape province.
The military lined the route up to the hillside as Mandela took his final journey with his body driven on a gun carriage to the private burial.
Earlier Mandela’s widow Graca Machel arrived at the state ceremony ahead of her husband to honour the tradition of being home to receive his body in a room where his portrait stood above a bank of 95 candles representing each year of his remarkable life.
Around 5,000 guests, including his ex-wife Winnie, the Prince of Wales, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and the American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, were also at the service.
But the ceremony overran by nearly two hours as political figures gave a series of extended eulogies, meaning that his tribe’s tradition that burials should be at noon ‘when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest’ had to change.
The current leader of his beloved country, Jacob Zuma, told mourners Madiba, as he was adoringly called, was ‘a fountain of wisdom, a pillar of strength and a beacon of hope for all those fighting for a just and equitable world order.
‘Today marks the end of extraordinary journey that began 95 years ago, the long walk to freedom has ended’.



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