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Mandela buried in rolling hills of South Africa

  • In this video frame frame, military officers prepare to lift South African President Nelson Mandela's casket following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame frame, military officers prepare to lift South African President Nelson Mandela's casket following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

    Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • In this video frame frame, Mandela family members watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame frame, Mandela family members watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • In this video frame frame, draped with a South African flag, South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is placed in the center of animal skins during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame frame, draped with a South African flag, South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is placed in the center of animal skins during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • King of the Xhosa tribe Zwelonke Sigcau meets Britain's Prince Charles at Nelson Mandela's burial service, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

    King of the Xhosa tribe Zwelonke Sigcau meets Britain's Prince Charles at Nelson Mandela's burial service, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, Nelson Mandela's former wife, left and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel stand over  the former South African president's casket during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. The woman on the right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

    Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, Nelson Mandela's former wife, left and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel stand over the former South African president's casket during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. The woman on the right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

  • In this video frame grab, from left, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame grab, from left, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • In this video frame frame, Mandela family members and South African President Jacob Zuma watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame frame, Mandela family members and South African President Jacob Zuma watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • Military personnel line the route as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

    Military personnel line the route as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

  • Three helicopters  fly over the grave site during the burial of former South African President Nelson Mandela in his hometown Qunu, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Three helicopters fly over the grave site during the burial of former South African President Nelson Mandela in his hometown Qunu, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

  • In this video frame grab, military officers escort former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket as it arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame grab, military officers escort former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket as it arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • This frame grab from SABC shows pallbearers standing by the casket of former South African president Nelson Mandela's during his funeral service Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Qunu, South Africa. (AP Photo/SABC, Pool)

    This frame grab from SABC shows pallbearers standing by the casket of former South African president Nelson Mandela's during his funeral service Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Qunu, South Africa. (AP Photo/SABC, Pool)

  • Planes fly overhead during the burial of former South African president Nelson Mandela in  Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    Planes fly overhead during the burial of former South African president Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

  • Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

    Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

  • Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

    Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)

  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, hugs South African President Jacob Zuma following his speech during the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  Right is Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

    Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, hugs South African President Jacob Zuma following his speech during the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. Right is Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

  • The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

    The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

    The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • A family watch a television showing the funeral service of former South African President Nelson Mandela at their home in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    A family watch a television showing the funeral service of former South African President Nelson Mandela at their home in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • Members of the Makhetha family sit on a sofa in a part of the house their older auntie, second from top, lives in as she watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Members of the Makhetha family sit on a sofa in a part of the house their older auntie, second from top, lives in as she watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Shembe priest Michael Notychanga prays in the direction of the home of former South African president Nelson Mandela on a hill where in the distance you can see the dome where his funeral service takes place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Akmal Rajput)

    Shembe priest Michael Notychanga prays in the direction of the home of former South African president Nelson Mandela on a hill where in the distance you can see the dome where his funeral service takes place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Akmal Rajput)

  • Family members and guests attend the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in a makeshift tent in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

    Family members and guests attend the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in a makeshift tent in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

  • The casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela is transported on a gun carriage before his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

    The casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela is transported on a gun carriage before his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

  • Former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is take by military gun carriage to his burial place following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

    Former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is take by military gun carriage to his burial place following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)

  • Resident John Kunene, aged 72, watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela at the Soweto Home for the Aged in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Resident John Kunene, aged 72, watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela at the Soweto Home for the Aged in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • In this video frame grab, military officers remove a South African flag from former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

    In this video frame grab, military officers remove a South African flag from former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)

  • A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

  • Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

    Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

  • In this video frame frame, military officers prepare to lift South African President Nelson Mandela's casket following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
  • A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
  • In this video frame frame, Mandela family members watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • In this video frame frame, draped with a South African flag, South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is placed in the center of animal skins during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • King of the Xhosa tribe Zwelonke Sigcau meets Britain's Prince Charles at Nelson Mandela's burial service, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, Nelson Mandela's former wife, left and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel stand over  the former South African president's casket during his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. The woman on the right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)
  • In this video frame grab, from left, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • In this video frame frame, Mandela family members and South African President Jacob Zuma watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is lowered into his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • Military personnel line the route as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)
  • Three helicopters  fly over the grave site during the burial of former South African President Nelson Mandela in his hometown Qunu, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
  • In this video frame grab, military officers escort former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket as it arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • This frame grab from SABC shows pallbearers standing by the casket of former South African president Nelson Mandela's during his funeral service Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Qunu, South Africa. (AP Photo/SABC, Pool)
  • Planes fly overhead during the burial of former South African president Nelson Mandela in  Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
  • Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)
  • Guests attending the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela take cell phone photos as Mandela's casket is taken to its burial place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Felix Dlangamandla, Pool)
  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, hugs South African President Jacob Zuma following his speech during the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  Right is Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)
  • The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
  • The casket of Nelson Mandela is brought in a military parade on a gun carriage from the family home to the funeral tent, prior to his burial, in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
  • A family watch a television showing the funeral service of former South African President Nelson Mandela at their home in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
  • Members of the Makhetha family sit on a sofa in a part of the house their older auntie, second from top, lives in as she watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
  • Shembe priest Michael Notychanga prays in the direction of the home of former South African president Nelson Mandela on a hill where in the distance you can see the dome where his funeral service takes place in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Akmal Rajput)
  • Family members and guests attend the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in a makeshift tent in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)
  • The casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela is transported on a gun carriage before his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, December 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)
  • Former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket is take by military gun carriage to his burial place following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool)
  • Resident John Kunene, aged 72, watches a television showing the funeral service of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela at the Soweto Home for the Aged in the Soweto township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
  • In this video frame grab, military officers remove a South African flag from former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC)
  • A mourner wearing a banner as a skirt showing the face of South African President Jacob Zuma observes the scene from a hilltop overlooking the burial site of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
  • Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

His flag-draped casket resting on a carpet of animal skins, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest yesterday in the green, rolling hills of the eastern hamlet where he began his extraordinary journey – one that led him from prison to the presidency, a global symbol of endurance and reconciliation in the fight against South Africa’s racist rule.

Artillery boomed and military aircraft roared through a cloud-studded sky, as the simple and the celebrated gathered to pay their final respects in Mandela’s native village of Qunu at a state funeral that blended ancient tribal rituals with a display of the might of the new, integrated South Africa.

“Yours was truly a long walk to freedom and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom in the bosom of your maker,” Brig. Gen. Monwabisi Jamangile, chaplain-general of the South African military, said as Mandela’s casket was lowered into the ground at the family gravesite. “Rest in peace.”

“I realized that the old man is no more, no more with us,” said Bayanda Nyengule, head of a local museum about Mandela, his voice cracking as he described the burial attended by several hundred mourners after a larger funeral ceremony during which some 4,500 people, including heads of state, royalty and celebrities, paid their last respects.

The burial ended a 10-day mourning period that began with Mandela’s death Dec. 5 at 95, and included a Johannesburg memorial attended by nearly 100 world leaders and three days during which tens of thousands of South Africans of all races and backgrounds filed past Mandela’s casket in the capital, Pretoria.

For South Africans, it was also a time for reflection about the racial integration they achieved when Mandela presided over the end of apartheid, and the economic inequality and other challenges that have yet to be overcome and seem certain to test his legacy’s endurance.

The burial site marked a return to Mandela’s humble roots, but the funeral trappings were elaborate. South African honor guards from the army, navy and air force, including both black and white officers, marched in formation along a winding dirt road.

In contrast to the military pomp, some speakers evoked the traditions of the Xhosa tribe, to which Mandela’s Thembu clan belongs.

“A great tree has fallen, he is now going home to rest with his forefathers,” said Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, a representative of Mandela’s family who wore an animal skin. “We thank them for lending us such an icon.”

Another speaker, Zolani Mkiva, served for many years as Mandela’s praise singer, a traditional role in which he shouted out the leader’s attributes to audiences, prefacing Mandela’s many stations in life with the words “very important:” person, prince, patriot, politician, prisoner, philosopher, president, pensioner, patient, papa.

“The bones of our ancestors are vibrating. The waves of African oceans are reverberating,” Mkiva said.

In keeping with Xhosa traditions, Mandela’s casket was brought to Qunu on Saturday draped in a lion skin, an honor bestowed on those of a high rank like Mandela, who is the son of a traditional clan chief. His body lay for the night in his family home before burial, a time when tradition dictates that family elders “talk” to the body to explain to his spirit what is happening.

South African television showed Mandela’s casket at the family gravesite, but the broadcast was stopped just before the coffin was lowered into the ground at the request of the Mandela family, which often talked of how it had to share its patriarch with the nation and the world.

His body was buried about noon, “when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy leader of the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress.

Mandela spent 27 years as a prisoner of apartheid, then emerged to lead a delicate transition to democracy when many South Africans feared the country would sink into all-out racial conflict. He became president in the first all-race elections in 1994 and served one five-year term.

At the funeral ceremony, Mandela’s portrait looked over the assembly from behind a bank of 95 candles representing each year of his life. His casket was transported to the tent on a gun carriage and draped in the national flag.

Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, and his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, were dressed in black Xhosa head wraps and dresses. Guests included veterans of the military wing of the ANC, as well as U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard and other foreign envoys.

Britain’s Prince Charles, Monaco’s Prince Albert II, Oprah Winfrey, billionaire businessman Richard Branson and former Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai also were there.

At one spot overlooking Mandela’s compound, several hundred people gathered to watch the televised ceremony. A group of Zulu traditional dancers with spears and shields gathered nearby to pay their last respects to Mandela.

“He’s a first-class guy in the world,” dancer Musa Ngunbane said.

Ahmed Kathrada, an anti-apartheid activist who was jailed on Robben Island with Mandela, remembered his old friend’s “abundant reserves” of love, patience and tolerance. He said it was painful when he saw Mandela for the last time, months ago in his hospital bed.

“He tightly held my hand, it was profoundly heartbreaking,” Kathrada said, his voice breaking at times. “How I wish I never had to confront what I saw. I first met him 67 years ago and I recall the tall, healthy strong man, the boxer, the prisoner who easily wielded the pick and shovel when we couldn’t do so.”

Recalling her grandfather’s simple roots, Nandi Mandela said he went barefoot to school as a boy in Qunu, where he herded cattle before he eventually became president and a figure of global renown.

“It is to each of us to achieve anything you want in life,” she said.

In the Xhosa language, she referred to her grandfather by his clan name: “Go well, Madiba. Go well to the land of our ancestors, you have run your race.”

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