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Nelson Mandela laid to rest

South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela received a tearful state funeral at his childhood village of Qunu on Sunday, followed by a traditional burial attended by family and friends. A 21-gun salute and full military honour guard escorted Mandela's coffin to a marquee where 4,500 mourners said their final goodbyes. His flag-draped casket was placed on cow skins, surrounded by 95 candles — each signifying a year of his extraordinary life.

Zuma urges South Africans to take up Mandela's mantle

South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday told a country mourning for its founding father Nelson Mandela that it was incumbent on them to carry on his legacy. "We have to take the legacy forward," Zuma said in an address to Mandela's state funeral in the former leader's boyhood home of Qunu. "As your journey ends today ours must continue in earnest. "One thing we can assure you of today Tata (father), as you take your final steps, is that South Africa will continue to rise. "South Africa will continue to rise because we dare not fail you," Zuma said.

Mandela's body taken to family plot for burial

Nelson Mandela's body was taken to his family plot for burial after a public state funeral ceremony Sunday in his rural boyhood home of Qunu. Access to the burial, to be conducted in line with traditional Xhosa rites, was restricted on the wishes of the Mandela family, who had invited just a few hundred special guests to attend the ritual. bur-gh/rmb

Nelson Mandela, from apartheid fighter to president and unifier

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy, as an icon of peace and reconciliation who came to embody the struggle for justice around the world. Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against white minority rule, Mandela emerged determined to use his prestige and charisma to bring down apartheid while avoiding a civil war.

Timeline: Life and times of Nelson Mandela

Dec 15 - Here are some important dates and events in the life of former South African President and anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95: July 18, 1918 - Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela near Qunu, in Transkei (now Eastern Cape), the youngest son of a counselor to the chief of his Thembu clan. 1944 - Founds African National Congress (ANC) Youth League with Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu. - Marries his first wife Evelyn. They had a daughter and two sons and were divorced in 1957.

Programme of events at Mandela's funeral

Nelson Mandela's burial in his boyhood village was a solemn ceremony Sunday that infused traditional Xhosa, modern Christian and military rites. The family viewed the body just after dawn and about 90 minutes later the casket was carried into a huge dome-shaped white marquee by men in military uniform. The formal ceremony kicked off with an old Methodist Xhosa song whose lyrics translate as "fulfil your dreams". The country's national anthem was then sung in four of the country's 11 official languages.

Poll shows half of ANC want Zuma to resign

As South Africa's democracy icon Nelson Mandela was being laid to rest on Sunday, an opinion poll showed his political heir Jacob Zuma losing support over claims of self-enrichment. A survey conducted for the Sunday Times newspaper showed 51 percent of registered voters of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) want Zuma to resign as he seemingly battles to fill the deceased statesman's shoes. The results of the survey conducted by the Ipsos market research company comes in the same week that Zuma was booed at a memorial service for Mandela in Soweto.

Mandela state funeral underway

Nelson Mandela's funeral service began Sunday with the singing of the Xhosa hymn "Lizalis' idinga lakho" -- "Fulfil your promise". An estimated 4,500 people filled a marquee in Mandela's boyhood town of Qunu, where he is being laid to rest. bur-arb/rmb

Mandela laid to rest at state funeral

A 21-gun salute and full honour guard escorted the coffin of Nelson Mandela as his state funeral got underway Sunday in the rolling hills of his rural boyhood home. A Xhosa hymn, "Fulfill Your Promise", sounded the start of the ceremony, organised to reflect the traditions of his tribe and the pride of the country he transformed as dissident and president. The specially constructed marquee venue held 4,500 people, with pride of place going to Mandela's family, including his widow Graca Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Zuma tells Mandela funeral 'we have to take the legacy forward'

South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday told a country mourning for its founding father Nelson Mandela that it was incumbent on everyone to carry on his legacy. "We have to take the legacy forward," Zuma told mourners at Mandela's state funeral in his boyhood home of Qunu. "South Africa will continue to rise." arb/cc
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