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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.

South Africa to return to routine after Mandela funeral

By Mark Gleeson JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Sport in South Africa is set to return to normal on Monday after the funeral of Nelson Mandela with the much-anticipated cricket series against India and an end to the first half of the domestic soccer season dominating a busy pre-Christmas period. Memorials over the last week for the former South African president, plus wet somber weather, necessitated change in schedules, but no one seemed to mind.

Nelson Mandela to be laid to rest

Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest Sunday at a funeral reflecting the traditions of his tribe and the pride of the country he transformed as both dissident and president. His burial in the rural village of Qunu where he spent his early childhood, closes the final chapter on a towering public figure whose courage and moral fortitude turned him into a global symbol of freedom and hope.

Mandela 'returns home' to final resting place

Nelson Mandela's remains were returned to his beloved rural childhood village on the eve of a traditional burial Sunday, the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey. As South Africa prepared to say goodbye to the prisoner-turned-president who led it out of apartheid, a spokesman for Mandela's fellow Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu said he would attend the burial after all, following an outcry when Tutu earlier said he had not been invited.

Tutu 'not invited' to Mandela burial

South African peace icon Desmond Tutu, openly critical of the government and members of Nelson Mandela's family, said Saturday he was not invited to his old friend's burial. "Much as I would have loved to attend the service to say a final farewell to someone I loved and treasured, it would have been disrespectful to Tata to gatecrash what was billed as a private family funeral," Tutu said in a statement. "Had I or my office been informed that I would be welcome, there is no way on earth that I would have missed it."

Mandela reaches final resting place

Nelson Mandela's remains were returned to his beloved rural childhood village ahead of a traditional burial on Sunday, the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey. A funeral cortege with his flag-draped casket entered on Saturday the gates of Mandela's homestead in the remote village of Qunu, accompanied by a phalanx of military vehicles. Mandela will be buried near the homestead, ending 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world.

Mandela's body arrives in ancestral village for funeral

Qunu, South Africa, Dec 14 (EFE).- The cortege transporting the body of South African former President Nelson Mandela arrived Saturday afternoon in his ancestral village of Qunu, where he will be buried on Sunday. Mandela's coffin had been flown earlier in the day from Pretoria, where he had lain in state for three days, to Mthatha, a city in his native Eastern Cape Province.

Tutu 'not invited' to Mandela burial

South African peace icon Desmond Tutu, openly critical of the government and members of Nelson Mandela's family, said Saturday he was not invited to his old friend's burial. "Much as I would have loved to attend the service to say a final farewell to someone I loved and treasured, it would have been disrespectful to Tata to gatecrash what was billed as a private family funeral," Tutu said in a statement. "Had I or my office been informed that I would be welcome, there is no way on earth that I would have missed it."

Golf: Emotional Van der Walt wins Mandela Championship

South Africa's Dawie Van der Walt fired a four-under 66 in the third and final round to win the Nelson Mandela Championship by two shots at the rain affected EPGA event on Saturday. The 30-year-old finished the shortened tournament on 15 under par to finish ahead of Englishman Matthew Baldwin and Spaniard Jorge Campillo as he picked up his second European title at the saturated Mount Edgecombe golf club. The win comes on the eve of Mandela's funeral after the former president passed away at the age of 95 last week.

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.
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