Madiba’s final rest

Mandela Nelson

The late former President Nelson Mandela has been placed in his final resting place, alongside his other family members, in a family grave.

Traditional rituals were performed to ensure the Father of the Nation is received by his ancestors.

Madiba was laid to rest a short while ago at the Mandela family farm in rural Qunu.

It brings to a close a sombre, and at other times celebratory, 10-day mourning period, declared by President Jacob Zuma after the elder statesman passed away peacefully at his home, in Houghton, in Johannesburg, on 5 December.

Following a beautiful and sombre funeral service at a specially-erected marquee earlier, Madiba’s body, draped in the South African National Flag, was taken to the burial site.

Once the family members and President were seated, military officials undraped the casket and the flag was ceremoniously folded and handed to Zuma, who handed it to Madiba’s widow Graca Machel.

The National Anthem was played and a Salute Flight took place before the Last Post was sounded.

The burial itself was not broadcast and no pictures were allowed – to afford the family and dignitaries to say their final goodbyes in private.