Mandela Buried In Home Place, Qunu

The body of Nelson Mandela has been laid to rest in his ancestral village, Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, ending 10 days of mourning in South Africa.

The Sunday burial of South Africa’s first black president was attended by family members, African leaders, celebrities and businessmen from Europe and the United States.

Mandela, who was described as the last great liberator of the 20th century by US President, Barack Obama, died at the age of 95.

Military helicopters flew over as pallbearers placed Mandela’s casket over the grave after the funeral ceremony.

South African television showed Mandela’s casket at the family grave site, but stopped broadcasting the event before the casket was lowered at the request of the Mandela family.

The state funeral began at 7:55am local and was attended by 4,500 guests.

President Jacob Zuma said: “Today marks the end of an extraordinary journey that began 95 years ago. We wish to express two single words ‘Thank You’. Thank you for being everything we needed in a leader during a difficult period in our lives.”

The Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, said that the former South- African president, Nelson Mandela, was a hero and father to Tanzanians as he was to South Africans.

“Mandela helped build a very strong South Africa-Tanzania relations.

“As we mourn the death of this great man, let us continue to work closely together to advance Mandela’s ideals, he said.

Prominent mourners included Britain’s Prince Charles and US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson.

US TV talk show host, Oprah Winfrey and British businessman Richard Branson also attended the funeral.

Mandela, also known as Madiba, has been accused of terrorism during the period he fought for the liberation of both black and white South Africans. He was in prison for 27 years but did not show resilience in his fight for freedom.

One of his famous quotes reads: “I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.

Cortege Departs To Take Mandela’s Body To Lie In State

A cortege transporting the body of former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela left the capital’s main military hospital on Wednesday en route to the Union Buildings, where he will lie in state.

Thousands of people lined the streets as a procession of police motorcycles lead the black hearse carrying Mandela’s coffin, which was draped in the South African flag.

Mandela’s death last Thursday at the age of 95 has sparked an outpouring of grief and mourning in the country he led from 1994 to 1999 as its first black president.

“This a significant moment for me and my children,” said 48-year-old teacher Thapelo Dlamini, who had been on waiting on the street for two hours with his two children.

Mandela’s body will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings, where he was inaugurated as president in 1994 after the first all-race elections that ended decades of white-minority apartheid rule.

He will be buried on Sunday in Qunu, his ancestral home in the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape province, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg.

Mandela Did Not Die, He Ascended – Captain Aliyu

Following the news of South Africa’s hero, Nelson Mandela, passing away at the age of 95, a security consultant, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), on Friday said that the anti-apartheid champion did not die (spiritually) but only ascended.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, he described the late icon as “the greatest African man I know” and added that he “has ascended.”

“I won’t accept the use of the word dead. He ascended.”

Nelson Mandela had been at the fore-front of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and following the victory of the crusade, he emerged the first black president of the nation.

Speaking about his popularity in the world, Mr Umar said Mandela was more popular than the South African Rand.

“I don’t even believe he is dead. Not in the spiritual sense.

Some people just transcend death. Some people rubbish death.

He will be more popular in death than when he was alive as “he cannot die”.

Mr Aliyu said that Mandela gave account of all the 95 years he spent on Earth and added that those who are privileged to live for almost a century, should be able to do something significant.

“He stood for peace, truth and equality.”

He praised Madiba for refusing to be South Africa’s President for Life but choosing to rule for one term after emerging as the first black president.

Hope For A Nigerian Madiba

While praising Mandela’s attributes, Mr Aliyu expressed his desire to see more selfless leaders in Nigeria, adding that, “it is my heart’s song that somewhere among our leaders, we should also be able to bring about a Mandela.” “Selflessness became his (Mandela) brand name.”

Making a comparison between the kind of politics Mandela played and the kind Nigerian politicians play in contemporary times, Umar said “in my opinion, our politics has been tending more towards comedy than anything else.”

Morgan Freeman, Other Entertainers, Mourn Mandela

Actors Morgan Freeman and Idris Elba, who both portrayed Nelson Mandela in the movies, were among many figures from the entertainment world who paid tribute to the South African anti-apartheid hero who died on Thursday.

Freeman, who got to know the charismatic Mandela in the 1990s and portrayed him in the 2009 drama “Invictus,” said he was “a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.”

The American actor added: “As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”

In a recollection published by the Time magazine website, he said: “His only comment after we first screened the movie for him was a humble, ‘Now perhaps people will remember me.'”

Elba, a British actor and rapper, who starred in this year’s biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” said, “What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.”

U.S. filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, whose company has distribution rights for the film, said he had been “unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy.” He said he had spent time with Mandela, adding, “I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism.”

Oscar-winning South African-born actress Charlize Theron tweeted: “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever.”

Bono, the Irish rock star and anti-poverty activist who has campaigned in many African countries, said in a statement: “It was as if he was born to teach the age a lesson in humility, in humour and above all else in patience.

“In the end, Nelson Mandela showed us how to love rather than hate, not because he had never surrendered to rage or violence, but because he learnt that love would do a better job.”

Veteran comedian and actor Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, said Mandela had “surrounded us with his graciousness, care and respect after we lost our son, Ennis,” who was murdered.

“Moreover, it was an honor to sit alongside him on the bed of his former prison cell; as he triumphantly spoke about his survival and the courage of his supporters,” the Cosbys said.

Soul singer Aretha Franklin said, “Most extraordinary was how he rose above his being imprisoned and exalted himself above apartheid and hatred to unite the country, an unbelievable example of humanitarianism and courage.”

World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods said: “I got a chance to meet him with my father (Earl) back in ’98. He invited us to his home, and it was one of the most inspiring times I’ve ever had in my life.”

Nelson Mandela’s Health Improving By The Day, His Daughter Says

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s health is improving daily and he is now able to sit up for minutes at a time, his youngest daughter told state broadcaster SABC.

The 95-year-old has been in a Pretoria hospital for two months for treatment of a recurrent lung infection. The government said late last month his condition remained critical but was showing improvement.

Zindzi Mandela told SABC on Friday her father was becoming increasingly alert.

“He’s fine. Tata now manages to sit up, like now he sits up in a chair for a few minutes in a day, every day you know he becomes more alert and responsive. Tata is determined not to go anywhere anytime soon, I cannot stress this enough,” she said, referring to him by the Xhosa word for father.

“He just doesn’t have the strength of a man, he has the strength that is beyond anything that can be explained. Because even now with the challenges to his health, he somehow manages to bounce back when everyone assumes this is the end.”

Mandela’s victory in the first multiracial elections in 1994 marked the end of the apartheid system. Four years earlier, he was released after 27 years in prison under white minority rule, 18 of them at the notorious Robben Island penal colony.

Mandela’s Health Still Serious, South African Government Says

Former South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was in hospital for the third day on Monday with a lung infection and his condition had not changed from “serious but stable”, the government said.

In a statement, President Jacob Zuma repeated his call for the country to pray for the ailing 94-year-old.

It is the 94-year-old’s fourth hospital stay since December and the government said on Saturday his condition was “serious”. During previous hospital visits it had highlighted his “good spirits”.

His health is a cause for concern to the millions of South Africans who revere Mandela for his decades of struggle against white-minority rule and steering the continent’s biggest economy to all-race elections.


South Africa’s Mandela Back In hospital With Lung Infection

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection, the government said on Thursday.

A statement said the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader was admitted shortly before midnight. It gave no further details other than to say he was receiving the “best possible expert medical treatment and comfort”.

Mandela was admitted briefly to hospital earlier this month for a check up.

However, he spent nearly three weeks in hospital in December with a lung infection and after surgery to remove gallstones.

It was his longest stay in hospital since his release from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years for conspiring to overthrow the white-minority apartheid government.

Mandela’s Gallstone Surgery Successful — S’African Govt.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has successfully undergone a procedure to have gallstones removed.

The South African government explained in a statement that the surgery on the 94-year-old Nobel peace laureate was successful and he is recovering.

Mr. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, is respected worldwide as a symbol of resistance to racism and injustice everywhere, following his personal struggle against apartheid in his home country.

Mr. Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital a week ago after being flown from his home village of Qunu in a remote, rural part of the Eastern Cape Province.

Tests revealed a recurrence of a lung infection and that he had developed gallstones.