Qunu says farewell to Tata Madiba

2013-12-15 14:16
Locals sit on the grass as they watch the funeral on a giant screen (not seen) in a hill overlooking the valley where South African President Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest. (Roberto Schmidt, AFP)

Locals sit on the grass as they watch the funeral on a giant screen (not seen) in a hill overlooking the valley where South African President Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest. (Roberto Schmidt, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Qunu - Perched above the pomp and ceremony of Nelson Mandela's state funeral, villagers and visitors to his rural home said a final goodbye among the open spaces and grasslands of his boyhood.

A few hundred people watched a live broadcast on a big screen, framed by sweeping views overlooking Mandela's home in Qunu village.

"I felt that I was a part of it," said local Samora Makasi, 35, sitting in an open-walled tent as presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities gathered below.

"I could have watched it at home but I wanted to be around people," Makasi said.

Qunu has, in the 10 days since his death was announced on December 5, been a hive of round-the-clock activity as funeral organisers rushed to construct a venue for the 4 500 people who wanted to attend the event.

The usual rural tranquility was interrupted by the constant thumping whir of military helicopters and convoys bringing in troops as the village was placed under a security clampdown.

"I'm sad. It's unbelievable that Mr Mandela today is no longer with us," said Qunu resident, photographer Monde Sikweza, 48, as the sound of a 21-gun salute echoed over the village.

"This long walk to freedom is gone now," he said, holding a framed photograph of Mandela and fellow comrades in 1991.

Traditionally, funerals are open to anybody, but the South African government had limited the number of guests, citing security concerns and space constraints.

"I am happy watching this on television. My eyes are bad. I can see it better this way," said villager Dickson Gangatele, 73.

Many watching in the viewing area had come from out of town.

"Ever since he passed away, I wanted to walk the journey with him," said Pascal Moloi, 52, who came from Johannesburg to watch with Mandela's fellow villagers.

Watching in the village, with a wide view of the valley below, made him "feel much more connected" to Mandela, he said, saying afterwards he thought the ceremony, which was over two hours long, was "brilliant".

But local Nonkuleleko Mfoboza, 45, felt differently.

"We want to be there as residents, but now there is no space for us," she said.

Several of the speeches drew standing ovations, but Mfoboza gave her stamp of approval to only a handful.

"Otherwise it was boring... too long," she said.

While the formal section of the state funeral was broadcast live to the world, the burial rituals were closed to the public on the wishes of the Mandela family.

"We really don't know whether there will be access to the grave. We are watching this from a distance," said Milisa Manxiwa, 34, sitting on a chair next to the main road near the funeral, draped in a South African flag.

As Mandela's final gun salutes rolled over the valley and an air force flypass thundered overhead, a group of men in traditional Zulu dress, carrying sticks and shields, cried out in succession.

"He was an old man, he deserves his rest, and I think it's been overdue," said Ntsika Madyibi, 35, who came from a neighbouring village to watch.

Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.


Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest in Qunu. Say your final farewell and be published on News24 by e-mailing or uploading.

Read more on:    nelson mandela
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.