Helicopters, planes honour Mandela

2013-12-15 13:18
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Mandela's granddaughter gives a tribute

2013-12-15 12:30

Watch a tribute from Nelson Mandela's granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, who shared personal stories from Mandela's life.WATCH

Qunu - Helicopters bearing South African flags, and one a SA  Air Force flag, and a formation flight by several Pilatus PC-7 aircrafts took to the skies over Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday for the burial of former president Nelson Mandela.

Mandela's coffin was placed over his grave and soldiers folded the South African flag which had rested on the casket. A prayer was said at his grave side.

Earlier, a slow-marching military procession had escorted the coffin on a gun carriage from the venue where Mandela's funeral service was held.

When it came to a halt, straps securing the coffin were removed; soldiers tilted the coffin and gently eased it off of the gun carriage.

Eight military pallbearers then pushed the coffin on a trolley toward the gravesite. Muffled drums played in the background.

Banks of white flowers flanked the coffin at the burial site.

The lowering of the coffin was not televised.

SA National Defence Force chaplain Reverend Monwabisi Jamangile said at the burial that Mandela had truly achieved ultimate freedom.

"We will remember Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela," he said while praying for him before his coffin was lowered into the grave.

"Rest in peace. Yours was truly a long walk to freedom and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom in the bosom of your leader, God Almighty."

Jamangile asked that God soothe the family in this time of grief, when their longing for Mandela became unbearable.

A 21-gun salute also fired.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  east london

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