Nelson Mandela's funeral pictures


South Africa's freedom fighter and first black President Nelson Mandela who died in Johannesburg home on 05 December 2013, at the age of 95. After a long battle with illness and he was laid to rest in his grave in the remote village in Qunu in Eastern Cape Province. 

Troops lined the route up to the hillside as Mandela was carried on a gun carriage to the private burial on his family’s estate. As his body was placed on the grave the South African flag on the coffin was removed and handed to Mandela's widow Graca Machel, who was comforted by his ex-wife Winnie Mandela. The memorial service was a profoundly African one, with only African leaders invited to speak. 

A fly past then followed accompanied by a 21-gun salute and a solitary trumpeter played the Last Post while his body was lowered into the ground.

As he was buried a military chaplain said: 'Yours was truly a long walk to freedom, and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom, in the bosom of your maker.'

His funeral was also marked by his Xhosa tribe whose elders will have slaughtered an ox to accompany his spirit after burial, while guests would be asked to drink its blood from a communal bowl.

But it is understood dignitaries such as Prince Charles were probably offered the animal's meat to eat instead after it was cooked on an open fire.

Mandela's family also talked to him until he lowered into the earth and will have said 'Madiba, we are now burying you,' a tradition followed so the souls of the dead know where they are going.