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South Africa Buries Mandela Amidst Military Pomp and Traditional Rites.


(Reuters) South Africa will bury Nelson Mandela on Sunday, closing one momentous chapter in its tortured history and opening another in which the multi-racial democracy he founded will have to discover if it can thrive without its central pillar.

flower4mmandelaThe Nobel peace laureate, who suffered 27 years in apartheid prisons before emerging to preach forgiveness and reconciliation, will be laid to rest after a state funeral mixing military pomp with the traditional rites of his Xhosa abaThembu clan.

The ceremony in the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape has drawn 4,500 guests, from relatives and South African leaders to foreign guests including Britain’s Prince Charles and American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson.

The anti-apartheid leader died in Johannesburg on December 5 aged 95, plunging his 53 million countrymen and millions more around the world into grief, and triggering more than a week of official memorials to the nation’s first black president.

As many as 100,000 people paid their respects in person to his lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was inaugurated as president in 1994, an event that brought the curtain down on more than three centuries of white domination.

When his body arrived on Saturday at his ancestral home in Qunu, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg, it was greeted by ululating locals overjoyed that Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known, had “come home”.

“After his long life and illness he can now rest,” said grandmother Victoria Ntsingo, as military helicopters escorting the funeral cortege clattered overhead. “His work is done.”

Reuters

Source: African Examiner.

Nelson Mandela’s Last Respects: Coffin arrives in Qunu for burial.


 

Mandela body

Nelson Mandela’s coffin has arrived in his childhood home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa, the final leg of its journey. Large numbers of people lined the roads in the rural region to pay their respects as the cortege passed by.

A state funeral will be held on Sunday for Mr Mandela, who died on 5 December.
At least 100,000 people saw the former South African president’s body lying in state in Pretoria over the last three days, but some had to be turned away.
Last respects
The coffin was flown from Waterkloof airbase in Pretoria on a C130 military aircraft, escorted by two fighter jets.
In line with tribal custom, Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla accompanied him on the journey, speaking to his coffin to tell him he was on his way home to rest.
It arrived in Mthatha, 700 km (450 miles) away, shortly before 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT).
To solemn music, the coffin draped in a South African flag was moved by a military guard of honour and placed in a hearse to begin the 32km journey to Qunu, where Mr Mandela had wanted to spend his final days and where he will be buried.
People waving flags and cheering and singing – in places 10 to 12 deep – lined the route taken by the cortege through Mthatha town to pay their last respects.
Tears as well as smiles could be seen on the faces of onlookers.
“He is finally coming home to rest, I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I have inside,” 31-year-old Bongani Zibi told AFP news agency.
“Part of me is sad but I’m also happy that he has found peace.”
Mandela town
Nelson Mandela always said he wanted to be buried in his childhood home of Qunu
Mandela tradition
His funeral will be conducted according to the traditions of the Xhosa people, from which he comes
However, some people expressed their frustration that the convoy did not stop, so they had no chance to view the coffin as people in Pretoria had.
The cortege then drove through the gates of the Mandela homestead in Qunu, where it will rest overnight in the grounds of the royal house of Thembu.
The BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Qunu said it was a powerful moment for the local community to see their liberator coming home.
The Thembu community will conduct a traditional Xhosa ceremony – including songs and poems about Mr Mandela’s life and his achievements – in a giant white marquee that has been specially erected.
Some 4,000 people – including presidents from Africa, several prime ministers, the Iranian vice-president, and the Prince of Wales – are expected to attend.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a long-time friend of Nelson Mandela – has now confirmed he will attend the funeral, having earlier said he had cancelled his flight as he had not received an invitation.
The South African government had earlier said the archbishop was accredited, but that no formal invitations had been sent out.
‘Towering figure’
Ahead of the flight to the Eastern Cape, members of the African National Congress paid final tributes to Nelson Mandela at a ceremony in Pretoria.
President Jacob Zuma, other ANC leaders and more than 1,000 members of the organisation which Mr Mandela once led, attended the event at the Waterkloof air base.
It included a multi-faith service and a musical tribute.
Mourners heard President Zuma pay his own tribute to Nelson Mandela, calling him a “towering figure”, “a man of action” and a “democrat who understood the world.”
“Yes, we will miss him… He was our father, he was our guardian. He was something special.”
“We’ll always keep you in our hearts,” Mr Zuma said.

Source: Radio Biafra.

South Africa Buries ‘Greatest Son’ Mandela.


QUNU, South Africa — South Africa buried Nelson Mandela on Sunday, closing one chapter in its tortured history and opening another in which the multi-racial democracy he founded will have to discover if it can thrive without its central pillar.

The Nobel peace laureate, who was held in apartheid prisons for 27 years before emerging to preach forgiveness and reconciliation, was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Qunu, after a send-off mixing military pomp and the traditional rites of his Xhosa abaThembu clan.

As his coffin was lowered into the wreath-ringed grave, three military helicopters flew low over the cemetery dangling the South African flag on weighted cables, a poignant echo of Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black president nearly two decades ago.

A battery of cannons fired a 21-gun salute, sending booms reverberating around the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, before five fighter jets flying low and in formation roared over the valley.

“Yours was truly a long walk to freedom, and now you have achieved the ultimate freedom in the bosom of your maker,” a presiding military chaplain told mourners at the family gravesite, where three of his children are already buried.

At the graveside were 450 relatives, political leaders and foreign guests including Britain’s Prince Charles, American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Mandela died aged 95 in Johannesburg on Dec. 5, plunging his 52 million countrymen and women and millions more around the world into grief, and triggering more than a week of official memorials to one of the towering figures of the 20th century.

More than 100,000 people paid their respects in person at Mandela’s lying in state at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, where he was sworn in as president in 1994, an event that brought the curtain down on more than three centuries of white domination.
When his body arrived on Saturday in Qunu, 450 miles south of Johannesburg, it was greeted by ululating locals overjoyed that Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known, had “come home.”
“After his long life and illness he can now rest,” said grandmother Victoria Ntsingo. “His work is done.”
Before the burial, 4,500 family, friends and dignitaries attended the state funeral service in a huge domed tent, its interior draped in black, in a field near Mandela’s homestead.
The flag-covered casket was carried in by military chiefs, with Mandela’s grandson and heir, Mandla, and South African President Jacob Zuma following in their footsteps.
It was then placed on black and white Nguni cattle skins in front of a crescent of 95 candles, one for each year of Mandela’s life, as a choir sang Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the national anthem adopted after the end of apartheid in 1994.
“The person who is lying here is South Africa’s greatest son,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), who presided over the three-hour ceremony broadcast live across the nation and around the world.
From the Limpopo River in the north to Cape Town in the south, millions watched on television or listened to the radio. In some locations, big screens transmitted the event live.
At the service, touching tributes were paid to the father of the “Rainbow Nation” he helped forge from apartheid’s ashes.
“Farewell my dear brother, my mentor, my leader,” said lifelong friend and fellow Robben Island inmate Ahmed Kathrada, his voice cracking with emotion, drawing tears from mourners.
In his eulogy, Zuma paid tribute to a life that went from freedom-fighter to political prisoner to president. He also briefly turned attention to the future, pledging to continue Mandela’s quest for a free and equal society, free from racial discrimination.
“Whilst the long walk to freedom has ended in the physical sense, our own journey continues. We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct. We have to take the legacy forward,” Zuma said.
The intense spotlight on the departed Mandela has highlighted the gulf in stature between him and the scandal-plagued Zuma. The current president is increasingly criticized for not doing enough to reduce poverty and chronic unemployment and end gaping income disparities that make South Africa one of the most unequal societies in the world.
Mandela served just one term as leader of Africa’s biggest and most sophisticated economy, and formally withdrew from public life in 2004, famously telling reporters at the end of a farewell news conference: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
His last appearance in public was at the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, waving to fans from the back of a golf cart.
Yet such was his influence as the architect of the historic reconciliation between blacks and whites that his passing has left a gaping hole at the heart of South Africa’s psyche.
With an eye on elections in five months, the ANC, the 101-year-old former liberation movement Mandela once led, has seized on his death as a chance to shore up popularity that is ebbing even in its black support base.
This calculation backfired badly at a Mandela memorial in Johannesburg on Tuesday when Zuma, under fire for a $21 million security upgrade to his private home, was booed and jeered in front of world leaders including President Barack Obama.
But barring an upset next year, Zuma looks set for another five years in office, during which he will have to address an economy struggling to shake off a 2009 recession and the fragmentation of a vital ANC alliance forged with the unions in the common struggle against apartheid.
With unemployment at 25 percent and racial inequality still painfully evident  — the average white household earns six times more than the average black one pressure for radical economic transformation is only likely to increase.
Against that backdrop, the party is desperate for strong leaders to guide South Africa through the complexities of the 21st century global economy and allow it to claim what it believes is its rightful place at the world’s top table.
There are questions whether Zuma, a polygamous Zulu traditionalist with no formal education, can deliver this.
“We need to raise the level of leadership,” former president Thabo Mbeki, who was unceremoniously ousted by Zuma six years ago, said in eulogies to Mandela last week.
“The transformation of South Africa is a very difficult task, I think in many respects more difficult than the struggle to end the system of apartheid.”

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

More Than 70 Leaders Expected for Mandela Memorial, Funeral.


JOHANNESBURG — More than 70 world leaders from President Barack Obama to Iran’s Hassan Rouhani are flying to South Africa for events commemorating Nelson Mandela this week, an unprecedented gathering that will hail one of humanity’s great peacemakers.

Cuban leader Raul Castro, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, and Britain’s David Cameron will also join what is set to be one of the biggest meetings of global dignitaries in recent history on Tuesday at Johannesburg‘s Soccer City stadium, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

The 95,000-seat stadium in Soweto, the township that was at the heart of the anti-apartheid struggle, will host the main memorial ceremony for Mandela, who died on Thursday aged 95.

It was the site of Mandela’s last public appearance, when he waved to fans from the back of a golf cart at the final of the 2010 soccer World Cup.

“The whole world is coming to South Africa,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said, playing down concerns about organizing logistics and security for such a large event with only five days notice following Mandela’s death.

Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, passed away peacefully in the company of his family on Thursday after a long battle with a lung infection, plunging his 52 million compatriots and millions more around the world into grief.

“We’re obviously not starting from scratch in terms of organization,” Monyela said. “We’ve got a system that kicks into play whenever you’ve got events of this magnitude.”

Since his death, South Africa has been gripped by an outpouring of emotion unrivaled since Mandela’s release from 27 years in apartheid prisons in 1990, and his victory in the first all-race elections four years later.

On Sunday, worshippers filled churches, mosques, synagogues, and community halls, offering praise and prayers for a man celebrated as “Father of the Nation” and a global beacon of integrity, rectitude, and reconciliation.

Tributes have flowed in from around the world.

“The fact that international leaders are making their way to South Africa at such short notice reflects the special place President Mandela holds in the hearts of people around the globe,” Presidency Minister Collins Chabane said.

After Tuesday’s event, Mandela’s remains will lie in state for three days the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was sworn in as President in 1994. He will then be buried on Dec. 15 in Qunu, his ancestral home in the Eastern Cape province.

But only “very few” world leaders will attend the Qunu funeral, Monyela said, adding the idea was to keep this event more a family affair.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

George O. Wood: Nelson Mandela Represented Christian Virtues.


Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died Thursday. He is pictured at a hotel in central London in this photo from June 24, 2008. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela—the South African statesmen, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the nation’s first black president who became renowned for leading South Africa out of the bonds of apartheid—passed away Thursday. He was 95.

Mandela, often referred to as “Madiba” (his clan name) in South Africa, spent nearly three decades of his life as a political prisoner and was admired throughout the world for his passion to seek unity rather than revenge.

“Nelson Mandela represented the Christian virtues of love instead of hate, reconciliation instead of enmity, and forgiveness instead of bitterness,” says George O. Wood, Assemblies of God general superintendent.

“Unjustly imprisoned for 27 years, he stepped into national leadership of South Africa and brought healing and hope. We express our heartfelt condolences to the people of South Africa and also to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of the International Assemblies of God and Assemblies of God of South Africa, led respectively by Dr. Gordon Lebelo and Dr. Peter Watt.”

Greg Johns, South Africa area director for AG World Missions, expressed condolences on behalf of the Assemblies of God USA to the faculty and staff of the Global School of Theology in Cape Town. Johns says that in many ways the school represents what Mandela stood for, as it’s composed of every racial group—African, English, Afrikaner, Coloured (mixed races) and Indian, in addition to many international students.

“The feelings and thoughts expressed by all seemed to come back to the difference one life can make if lived by the right principles and values,” Johns says. “They all loved Tata [Father] Mandela deeply—white and black alike.”

This Sunday has been declared a national day of prayer and reflection in South Africa by President Jacob Zuma. Zuma has encouraged all South Africans to gather in places of worship, conduct prayer services and reflect on the life of Mandela.

The humanitarian work Mandela was famed for will be carried on by his three organizations: the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Mandela, who received the name “Nelson” from a preschool teacher, will be buried in a state funeral on Sunday, Dec. 15, in his ancestral hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

AG NEWS

Doctors Decide Against Turning Off Mandela Life Support.


Nelson Mandela’s doctors have rejected the idea of turning off the ailing icon’s life support unless he suffers massive organ failure, a close family friend told AFP Friday.

Denis Goldberg — an anti-apartheid activist who has been Mandela’s friend for more than half a century — said the issue of turning off life support was discussed and ultimately dismissed, according to Agence France-Presse.

“I was told the matter had been raised and the doctors said they would only consider such a situation if there was a genuine state of organ failure,” Goldberg said.

“Since that hasn’t occurred they were quite prepared to go on stabilizing him until he recovers.”

The 80-year-old Goldberg was convicted along with Mandela in 1964 for their fight against white-minority rule.

He visited the former president in the hospital on Monday.

A court document filed by a lawyer for Mandela’s family nine days ago stated the 94-year-old was “assisted in breathing by a life support machine.”

“The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off,” the court filing read.

“Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability.”

The document — which was designed to press a court to urgently settle a family row over the remains of Mandela’s children — also stated that Mandela was “in a permanent vegetative state.”

South Africa’s presidency has stated that is not now the case, but has refused to give further details of his condition, citing the need to respect Mandela’s privacy.

On the day the document was drafted, President Jacob Zuma abruptly canceled a trip to Mozambique to confer with Mandela’s doctors amid fears the 94-year-old may be close to the end.

Zuma, Mandela family members and his close friends have since reported his condition has improved.

South African presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told AFP on Friday that Zuma’s office “had not been party” to the court material and would not speculate on its content.

“We did not file any document and we are not saying that it’s true or not true,” he said.

Earlier, Goldberg said Mandela was “clearly a very ill man, but he was conscious and he tried to move his mouth and eyes when I talked to him.”

“He is definitely not unconscious,” he added, saying, “he was aware of who I was.”

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for fighting white-minority rule and went on to lead the process of racial reconciliation as South Africa’s first black president, has now spent a month in the hospital after being admitted with a recurrent lung infection.

South Africa’s parliament on Friday hosted a prayer service in a Cape Town cathedral where Mandela was hailed as “an icon of a truly free South Africa.”

“It is a reflective period for our people,” said national assembly deputy speaker NomaIndia Mfeketo.

“The thought of Madiba in hospital indisposed due to illness is harrowing. This is not what we wish for our beloved hero,” she said.

Meanwhile, leading South Africans urged Mandela’s family to end an increasingly acerbic family feud over the grave sites of three of Mandela’s children.

On Thursday Mandela’s grandson Mandla launched a tirade at close family members who took him to court to force him to re-inter Mandela’s children at the revered former South African leader’s proposed burial ground in Qunu, his childhood village.

Mandla accused one of his brothers of impregnating his wife and said others were born out of wedlock.

The three bodies were reburied Thursday in Qunu, but the fallout from the dispute continued to reverberate.

South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu pleaded with Mandela’s family not to “besmirch” the former president’s name.

“Please, please, please may we think not only of ourselves. It’s like spitting in Madiba’s face,” said Tutu in a statement, using Mandela’s clan name.

Presidential spokesman Maharaj also urged the family to solve the increasingly bitter dispute “amicably.”

“It is regrettable that there is a dispute going on amongst family members and we’d like that dispute to be resolved as amicably and as soon as possible,” he said.

Mandela was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring respiratory infection.

© AFP 2013
Source: NEWSmax.com

Mandela: Doctors Said ‘Turn Off Life Support’.


 

  • Mandela: Doctors Said 'Turn Off Life Support'View PhotoMandela: Doctors Said ‘Turn Off Life Support’

Doctors advised that Nelson Mandela’s life support should be turned off because he was in a ‘permanent vegetative state‘, court documents show.

The declaration from members of the former president’s family came as part of a family dispute over the graves of three of his children.

In documents dated June 26 they said: “He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.

“The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off.

“Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability.”

The “certificate of urgency” document was obtained from a lawyer representing Mandela family members who had successfully sought a court order to return the children’s remains to the revered South African leader’s childhood home.

The legal battle was launched after Mr Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela had them moved from the family estate in Qunu to his own village 15 miles away.

The document was presented to South Africa’s Eastern Cape High Court as President Jacob Zuma reported that Mr Mandela’s health had faltered and cancelled a trip to Mozambique.

Since it was written, the South African government, family members and hospital visitors have reported that Mr Mandela’s condition has improved.

The following day Mr Zuma reported that Mr Mandela’s health had “improved during the course of the night”.

“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job,” Mr Zuma said in a statement on June 27.

Since then the government has said Mr Mandela’s condition remains “critical but stable”, but has provided few details, citing patient confidentiality.

Lawyers for Mr Mandela’s relatives, family members themselves and government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, Mr Mandela’s wife said the former president is sometimes uncomfortable but seldom in pain while being treated in a hospital.

Graca Machel spoke about her husband’s condition at a fundraising drive for a children’s hospital that will be named after the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader.

“Whatever is the outcome of his stay in hospital … he offered his nation an opportunity to be united under the banner of our flag, under the banner of our constitution,” she said.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

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