| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Mandela's body reaches hometown in rural South Africa

Getty Images
South Africans dance during a celebration on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Mthatha of the life of former President Nelson Mandela while waiting for his funeral cortege to pass by on its way to his home town of Qunu.

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

QUNU, South Africa — A hearse carrying Nelson Mandela's body drove into his hometown in rural South Africa on Saturday.

As motorcyclists in uniform and armored personnel carriers escorted the vehicle carrying Mandela's casket to the family compound, people lining the route sang, applauded and, in some cases, wept.

The vehicle carrying Mandela's casket, covered with a national flag, arrived at the family compound under cloudy skies at 4 p.m. It was accompanied by an enormous convoy of police, military and other vehicles, and a military helicopter hovered overhead.

According to Xhosa tribal tradition, Mandela was honored as a leader by placing a leopard skin on the coffin, replacing the flag.

“Long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela,” chanted a crowd on a highway near Mandela's compound.

The anti-apartheid hero will be buried on Sunday.

Mandela had longed to spend his final months in his beloved rural village, but instead he had spent them in a hospital in Pretoria and then in his home in Johannesburg where he had remained until his death.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Obama: Climate pact an ‘act of defiance’ after Paris attacks
  2. Pope Francis visits mosque in war-torn Central African Republic, calls for end to conflict
  3. After U.S. indictments, Chinese military scalesc back hacks on American industry
  4. World leaders show willingness to act at climate change summit
  5. Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law ‘breaches human rights,’ court rules
  6. Israeli court convicts two Jewish teenagers in 2014 killing of Palestinian youth
  7. Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
  8. Russia’s crackdown in predominantly Muslim region fuels exodus to ISIS
  9. Moscow deploys ground-to-air missiles in Syria
  10. Testing of Tut’s tomb hints at hidden chamber
  11. Russia hits Turkey with sanctions amid frayed relations