Nelson Mandela was today buried in the remote village where the anti-apartheid icon grew up after his four-hour state funeral this morning. South Africa’s first black President died in his Johannesburg home on December 5, at the age of 95 after a long battle with illness and he was laid to rest in his grave in Qunu in Eastern Cape province. Military lined the route up to the hillside as Mandela’s flag-draped coffin 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. A fly-past then followed accompanied by a 21-gun salute and a solitary trumpeter played the Last Post as his body was lowered into the ground. Earlier his funeral was held where around 5,000 guests including the Prince of Wales, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and the American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson paid their respects. But the ceremony overran by nearly two hours as political figures including Jacob Zuma gave a series of extended eulogies, meaning that Mandela’s tribe’s tradition that burials should be at noon ‘when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest’ had to change.
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