Qunu, Eastern Cape, December 15, 2013-The first black South African president Nelson Mandela’s body was today laid to rest in a family plot, after political and religious leaders paid tribute to South Africa’s first black president at a state funeral service.
His widow, Graca Machel, and President Jacob Zuma were present for the private, traditional Xhosa burial at Mr Mandela’s ancestral home in Qunu.
Mr Zuma had earlier told the larger funeral service that South Africans had to take his legacy forward.
Mr Mandela who was jailed for 27 years for his fight against apartheid died on 5 December aged 95.
The last of 10 days of commemorations for Mr Mandela began with his coffin being taken on a gun carriage from his home to a giant marquee where his portrait hung behind 95 candles – each representing a year of his life.
South African military helicopters staged a fly-past as Mr Mandela’s coffin was interred South African military helicopters staged a fly-past as Mr Mandela’s coffin was interred
The coffin of Nelson Mandela was carried by military honour guard Earlier some 4,500 people – including foreign dignitaries – attended the state funeral
President Jacob Zuma sat between Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela President Zuma sat between Mr Mandela’s widow Graca
Machel and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
The coffin, draped in the South African flag, was placed beneath a lectern where speakers paid their tributes.
Some guests sang and danced to celebrate Mr Mandela’s life as the service began.