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Mandela's 'long walk' nears an end

Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, as his remains were transported to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. A C-130 Hercules carrying Mandela's flag-draped casket and escorted by two fighter jets landed in Mthatha, in Mandela's native Eastern Cape province, to thousands of waiting mourners and a full military guard of honour. From Mthatha, Mandela's remains were to be carried by a funeral cortege on the short drive to his boyhood home of Qunu.

Qunu, the beloved rural childhood home of Mandela

From the confines of apartheid prison and during the ill health that stalked his last years, Nelson Mandela yearned for the rolling hills and open spaces of his boyhood village of Qunu. It was here, in South Africa's rural hinterland, that the man who went on to shape the destiny of the country took up his first responsibility as a five-year-old herd boy. The young Mandela's days were filled with stick-fighting, sipping warm milk from cows' udders, fishing and sliding down a rocky slope with friends.

Mandela's 'long walk' nears its end

Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, with his remains on their way to be returned to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. The flag-draped coffin with the body of South Africa's first black president was taken early in the morning to the Waterkloof air force base near Pretoria, where tens of thousands had seen him lie in state since Wednesday.

Mandela's 'long walk' nears its end

Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, as his remains were transported to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. A C-130 Hercules carrying Mandela's flag-draped casket and escorted by two fighter jets landed in Mthatha, in Mandela's native Eastern Cape province, to thousands of waiting mourners and a full military guard of honour. From Mthatha, Mandela's remains will be carried by a funeral cortege on the short drive to his boyhood home of Qunu.

Mandela's 'long walk' nears its end

Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, as his remains were flown to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. Sunday's interment will bring down the final curtain on 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world. Tens of thousands had packed a soaked stadium in Soweto for a memorial service Tuesday and up to 100,000 people filed past Mandela's open-casket for the three days it was displayed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Mandela's 'long walk' nears its end

Nelson Mandela will embark on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, when his remains are returned to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. Since his death at his Johannesburg home on December 5, South Africans have turned out in pouring rain and blistering sunshine to say goodbye to their first black president.

Many called but few chosen as Mandela successor

Will we see his like again? Probably not seems to be the verdict of historians and human rights campaigners as they look back on the extraordinary life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. As the world prepares to bid the father of democratic South Africa a final goodbye on Sunday, there is no shortage of dissidents, resistance movements and even some governments seeking to harness the legacy of the 20th century's most famous prisoner of conscience.

Sorrow, frustration as 100,000 say goodbye to Mandela

Hundreds of South Africans broke through a police cordon Friday in a last-gasp bid to join the estimated 100,000 people who viewed Nelson Mandela's remains during three days of lying in state. The group pushed past officers moments before the casket was closed and Mandela began his final journey back to his childhood home of Qunu, where he will be buried on Sunday. Crushing disappointment tainted the final day of the lying in state, with tens of thousands of mourners unable to say their personal farewell to the anti-apartheid icon.

Queues deprive thousands of final Mandela goodbye

Crushing disappointment tainted the final day of Nelson Mandela's lying in state Friday, with tens of thousands of mourners unable to say their personal farewell to the anti-apartheid icon. Barely two hours after the public was allowed in to view the open-top casket, the government said it would be unable to accommodate the huge numbers still waiting and appealed for people to stay away. Friday was the last opportunity to view the body of South Africa's first black president in Pretoria, before it is transported to his boyhood village of Qunu for burial on Sunday.

Hundreds break through police barrier to see Mandela

Hundreds of South Africans pushed their way past a police cordon in a bid to see Nelson Mandela's body Friday, in the final moments of his lying in state. The group bustled past officers after they, along with tens of thousands of other mourners, were told they would not get to pay their last respects to their country's first black president. They ran toward the amphitheatre at Union Buildings -- the seat of government -- where Mandela has been lying in state since Wednesday.
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