Sunday, December 15, 2013


Goodbye to an icon: Nelson Mandela's coffin is slowly lowered into the ground in the hills close to where he grew up at the small, private burial today in Qunu as military salute and mourners watch the poignant moment
Poignant: Nelson Mandela's coffin was carried to his grave and then the flag of the country he loved so ardently was removed and handed to his widow Graca Machel
Last steps: After being carefully taken from his gun carriage, Mandela's coffin was wheeled the final few yards before being placed above his final resting place
United in grief: Mandela's widow Graca Michel (centre) and his ex-wife Winnie Mandela (left) tearfully comforted one another as they sat next to president Jacob Zuma and Mandela's grandson Mandla as he was laid to rest
Royal meeting: The Prince of Wales meets the King of the Xhosa tribe Zwelonke Sigcau, head of Mandela's tribe, at the burial in Quno today. Elders will have slaughtered an ox and drank its blood to ensure Mandela's soul is accompanied after burial although dignitaries such as Prince Charles will have been offered the meat

Earlier she 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.
Historic figure: Thousands of people have paid tribute to South Africa's first black president as he was buried today
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'.
‘When people see goodness in a person they respond by reflecting goodnesss back at that person and on their fellow man and women,' Zuma said.
'Thank you for being everything we wanted in a leader during a difficult period in our lives.
'Your long walk to freedom has ended but in a physical sense our journey continues.
'We have to take your legacy forward and in doing so we will continue taking lessons from your very rich and extraordinary life. 
He read a Mandela quote: ‘I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I fought it all through my life. I fight it now and will fight it to the end of my life.’
He said he taught forgiveness and reconciliation.
‘We learned from you that to build a new society, a new SA from the ashes of apartheid and colonialism we had to rise above anger and the human desire for retribution.’ 
Zuma also spoke of Mandela's dedication to gender equality which led to more women in public life.
He said: ‘We dare not reverse your achievements in this regard.’
‘As you take your final steps, South Africa will continue to rise.’
He said the poor and working class have benefitted from the fruits of democracy.
‘We commit to work more intensely to deal a decisive blow against poverty, inequality.’
In a political eulogy he promised improved utilities, better jobs and working conditions as well as efficient and accountable public service.
‘We will be able to complete this country’s transformation into a global force for social and economic leadership that you believed we were capable of being.
‘Tata as your triumphant journey comes to an end we sincerely thank you.’
‘We sincerely thank you, thank your family for sharing you with us and the world.’
Special tribute: The South African air force fly over Mandela's grave in the hills of Qunu where he grew up, which was accompanied by a 21-gun salute
A nation in mourning: Three helicopters carrying South African flags fly over the burial site today as a much smaller crowd of mourners watched the great statesman laid to rest after ten days of official mourning
Air force tribute: A squadron of South African jets flew across the skies above the Eastern Cape hills where Mandela spent his formative years

Ceremonial: The fly-past was accompanied by a 21-gun salute and a solitary trumpeter played the Last Post while his body was lowered into the ground
Burial: The military carry Mandela's body along the pathway to the area where South Africa's beloved son's burial site in Qunu
Procession: After the funeral South Africa's military took over and followed Mandela's coffin up the hill to his family plot where he was buried
Funeral procession: After the four hour memorial service Mandela's body on a gun carriage led by troops and followed by his family in cars
Zuma added that his children must be truly proud today to be ‘brought to this planet by a man so great and humble’. 
Arm in arm: Mandela's second wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela (far right) and the statesman's widow Graca Machel (centre) walk together as he is about to be buried

Civil rights campaigner: American Jesse Jackson, a close friend of Mandela's meets Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, right, and Lindiwe Sisulu, left, at the burial
Religious movement: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, centre, is surrounded by clergymen at his Christian burial after his state funeral was dominated by political eulogies
Representing the UK: Prince Charles stands alongside Judith Macgregor, British High Commissioner in South Africa as they watch Mandela finally laid to rest
Gathered to remember Madiba: South Africa's president Jacob Zuma (2nd left), Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Mandela (left), and the widow of Mandela, Graca Machel (3rd left), sit by his coffin
Embrace: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who initially claimed he had not been invited to the funeral, hugs former president Thabo Mbeki
Respect: Candles are lit under a portrait of Nelson Mandela before his funeral. One for every year of his life
Dignitaries: Prince Charles, right, arrives for the state funeral on Sunday and is greeted by a fellow mourner who welcomed him to the Quno service
Representing Britain: The Queen sent the Prince of Wales, pictured here speaking to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a politician and former wife of Jacob Zuma
Mourners: US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, centre, her husband Stedman Graham, left, and English businessman Richard Branson, right, watching the state funeral service
Star: British actor Idris Elba, who played Mandela in Long Walk To Freedom, also attended the state funeral - the first in South Africa's democratic history
Eulogy: South African President Jacob Zuma told the assembled mourners that 'Madiba' was 'a fountain of wisdom, a pillar of strength and a beacon of hope' for those fighting oppression in his country and around the world
Reading an obituary, Mr Mandela's grandson Ndaba Mandela said the former leader became 'one of the world's greatest icons'.
Loss of an icon: A mourner weeps as he watches the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela on a large screen television in Cape Town
Hard to take: Mourners console each other as they watch a broadcast of the state funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela, at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg
Hero: An ANC member sobs in Johannesburg this morning as the world said its final goodbye to 'Madiba' on the tenth day of mourning in South Africa
Celebration of life: Men in tribal Zulu warrior dress perform ritual dances on the area overlooking the burial ceremony
Heroic: Warriors pay a personal tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize winner and revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa who died on December 5 at the age of 95
The funeral included traditions of Mandela's Thembu clan, as well as a 21-gun salute, brass band and fly over by jets. 
Final journey: The coffin carrying former South African President Nelson Mandela is escorted into his state funeral service in Qunu this morning
Eulogy: Mandela's granddaughter Nand takes to the podium to pay her tributes to the leader
Paying their final respects: Nelson Mandela's grandsons Ndaba (left) and Mandla Mandela (centre) look at the coffin as they attend the funeral ceremony of the South African former president today
Procession: Military officers accompany the coffin into the funeral as others stand to attention
Wives: Grace Machel, left, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, right, have led South Africa in mourning for the man they were both married to

Speech: Joyce Banda, the president of Malawi, was one of many African leaders to pay tribute to Mandela at the service
Stage: The speakers delivered their addresses in front of 95 candles, representing every year of Mandela's life
Moved: Mandela's daughter Makaziwe, centre, sits in front of her father's coffin during the ceremony
Tears: The former president's daughter Zindzi comforts another mourner
Packing out the building: Soldiers moved in to fill some of the empty chairs during the funeral service, despite many people complaining about being left off the invite list
Prominent people are traditionally wrapped in an animal skin - kings are covered with the hide of a lion, but because Mandela was a clan chief he will have been wrapped in leopard skin.
Tradition: Mandela's casket, covered in the nation's flag, was placed on a cattle skin as the service combined elements of traditional and state funerals
Display: The coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela is seen draped in a South African national flag during his funeral in his ancestral village of Qunu 
Tribute: A military officer places the framed flag of South Africa on top of Mandela's coffin at the start of his funeral service this morning
Sombre: South Africa's current president Jacob Zuma sitting between Winnie Mandela and Graca Machel - who were seen holding hands as they supported each other on this difficult day
State funeral: Mandela's coffin is carried into the white tent for the service by senior military figures and an Army chaplain
Support: African National Congress supporters chant before the start of the funeral, which began with the national anthem of Mandela's beloved country
Dignitaries: Anti-apartheid activist and friend Ahmed Kathrada, right, with former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki speak before the service
United in grief: Mandela's widow Graca Machel, above, and his former wife Winnie, below, arrived holding hands and sat together for the service that lasted around four hours
Traditional: Mandla Mandela right, grandson of former South African president Nelson Mandela, during his grandfather's funeral wearing a tribal head piece
As the state funeral got underway, the national anthem, God Bless Africa, was performed. The anthem is sung in five languages - three African as well as Afrikaans and English.
Honour and respect: A gun salute is fired as the funeral procession nears the Mandela family compound at the start of today
Song of freedom: This Zulu man stood with others in Qunu singing traditional songs celebrating Mandela's life and how he overcame his struggles
Tribute: Zulu men carry traditional weapons and shields in honour of their country's leader, who helped free South Africa after years of apartheid
Family Valedictory Service - Rev V Nyobole
Opening Devotions 
Viewing of the body; Homily; Draping of the casket; Placing of the casket on the gun carriage and forming up of procession; Procession departs for the marquee
Funeral Service
National Anthem; Opening devotions: Bishop D Dabula
Madiba Family Representative - Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima
Close friend - Mr Ahmed Kathrada
Reading of the Obituary
Tribute by the children and grandchildren: Ms Nandi Mandela
Tribute by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (AU Chairperson)
Tribute by President Joyce Banda (SADC Chairperson)
Tribute by President Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania)
Oration by President Jacob Zuma
Sermon and Benediction - Bishop Z Siwa; Military Ceremony - Chaplain-General of the SANDF; Movement of Designated Mourners to the Gravesite; Military Procession 
President and family are seated at the gravesite
Removal of the Orders, Decorations, Medals and Miniature RSA Flag from the coffin by the SANDF to be handed over to the Chief of the SANDF who hands it over to the President for presentation to the next-of-kin.
Undraping of the casket
Pall-bearers salute and withdraw
Military pall-bearers take up position
Playing of the National Anthem, 21 Round Interment Salute and the Salute Flight
The Last Post is sounded
Sounding of Reveille
Military pall-bearers salute and withdraw
Committal Service by Bishop D Dabula
Vote of thanks: Major-General (retired) Bantu Holomisa
Benediction - Bishop D Dabula
Final goodbye: The flag-draped casket of South Africa's first black president arrives in Mandela's village at just after dawn today
Coming home: A parade of servicemen lead the casket to the funeral through the Eastern cape hills 'Tata' - as he was known - loved all his life
Home at last: Military officers and Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela, rear, accompany the casket of the former South African President as it arrives in Qunu
Prayer: A traditional Shembe priest offers prayers as he looks towards the dome where Mandela's funeral was held
In an operation led by the military, the body's journey began at dawn at Pretoria’s air force base Waterkloof, where 1,000 members of the ANC gave him an exuberant send-off, with singing and dancing beneath a hangar decked out in the party colours of green, black and gold.

Accompanied by family members, tribal elders and senior government figures, the coffin was then flown 550 miles to Mthatha airport, about 20 miles from Qunu.

Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela travelled separately from the coffin, in accordance with tribal tradition, and were seen comforting each other as it arrived.
From the airport, a hearse carried Mandela through the town, where crowds lined the route ten deep, then along Nelson Mandela Road and into the open countryside of green hills and red-flowering Cape Aloe.
There were helicopters, armoured personnel vehicles, expensive cars – which all seemed to have blue lights, whether they contained police officers or not – and an endless stream of motorcycle outriders, some in white uniforms.
Tradition: Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela, right, watches as local chiefs escort the lion skin draped casket of former South African President as it arrives at the Mandela residence in Qunu
Winnie Mandela (left), ex-wife of former South African President, and Graca Macel, widow of Mandela, wipe away tears as his flag-draped coffin arrives at the Mthata airport
A last look at the father of the nation: Locals take photos as Mandela's hearse nears Qunu, a small hamlet in South Africa's Eastern Cape province where he grew up
A military guard of honour stands to attention at the Mandela family's homestead in Qunu. Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, died in Johannesburg on December 5 at age 95
Just before 4pm the hearse swept down a gentle slope overlooking a restful scene: the hills and valleys where Mandela roamed as a boy, gathering wild honey, stick-fighting with friends and herding cattle.
Hero: A woman raises her fist in salute as she watches the hearse carrying her country's first black president drive by on the way to his final resting place
Loved by the people: The motorcade transporting Mandela's body passes through crowds of mourners gathered in the town of Mthatha on its way to Qunu
Mandela’s house in the village is modest and contains souvenirs of his life since he was freed. 
Patriotism: Mourners wave and cheer as the hearse transporting the flag-draped casket containing Mandela's body as it passes through the town of Mthatha 
Paying respects: Thousands of mourners line the streets of Umthatha as the enormous convoy of police, military and other vehicles sweeps through their town
Full military honours: Fighter jets escort the military plane carrying the coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela as it is flown to Mandela's home in the village of Qunu, Eastern Cape

By early evening, mourners were leaving Mandela’s house after a supper and informal speeches of thanks to the doctors who took care of him.
Nelson Mandela, two days after his liberation, welcomed by 100,000 people in the football stadium in Soweto
Released on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.
In a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit, Nelson Mandela accepted the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (along with FW de Klerk) on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land.
The era of apartheid formally came to an end on the April 27, 1994, when Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in his life – along with his people. However, long before that date it had become clear, even before the start of negotiations at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, that the ANC was increasingly charting the future of South Africa.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inaugurated as President of a democratic South Africa on 10 May 1994.
This world icon worked tirelessly even after the achievement of democracy in South Africa to continue improving lives. Even as he retired from politics, his attention shifted to social issues such as HIV and AIDS and the wellbeing of the nation’s children.
As a testimony to his sharp political intellect, wisdom and unrelenting commitment to make the world a better place, Mandela formed the prestigious group of called The Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.
Mr Mandela is survived by his wife Gra├ža, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.