Photo Essay

  • Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela, left, watches as military soldiers stand at attention over Madela’s casket before his burial in his home village of Qunu, South Africa, Dec. 15, 2013.
  • From left: Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mandela’s former wife and South African President Jacob Zuma, at Mandela’s burial service, in Qunu, Dec. 15, 2013.
  • The coffin of Nelson Mandela is escorted to the compound for his funeral ceremony in Qunu on Dec. 15, 2013.
  • People cheer and sing as they overlook the burial site while a gun salute is fired in honor of Nelson Mandela during his funeral, Dec. 15, 2013 in Qunu.
  • Young children peer from the window to watch the funeral of Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Dec. 15, 2013. 
  • South Africans watch the funeral on a giant screen (not seen) on a hill overlooking the valley where Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest on Dec. 15, 2013 in Qunu.
  • Karlind Govender and his wife Katharina, of Cape Town overlook the burial site as a 21 gun salute is fired in honor of Nelson Mandela on Dec. 15, 2013 in Qunu.
  • A woman looks on as Nelson Mandela’s coffin is carried to his burial site in Qunu, Dec. 15, 2013. 
  • Family members and officials sit behind the coffin of Nelson Mandela during his funeral in Qunu on Dec. 15, 2013.
  • The casket bearing the remains of Nelson Mandela are brought into a makeshift tent for his funeral service in Qunu Dec. 15, 2013.
  • A man prays during a memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela at a local university in Mthata, Dec. 14, 2013.
  • South Africans wait for the arrival of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s casket in Mthatha on Dec. 14, 2013. The casket was on its way to Qunu where he will be buried on Sunday.
  • People sing and dance on Dec. 14 in Mthatha while waiting for the funeral cortege of Nelson Mandela to pass by on its way to the former South African president’s rural home.
  • Xhosa women in traditional dresses sing and dance on Dec. 14 in Qunu as they wait for the hearse carrying the coffin of Nelson Mandela.
  • South Africans react after the hearse carrying the coffin of Nelson Mandela drove by on Dec. 14 in Mthatha.
  • Nelson Mandela’s casket is transported to the Union Buildings on the last day of his lying in state in Pretoria on Dec. 13, 2013. 
  • A mourner watches the hearse carrying the body of Nelson Mandela drive down Mandela street to the Union Building where he lies in state, in Pretoria, South Africa, Dec. 13, 2013.
  • South Africans cheer as Nelson Mandela’s body passes by to the Union Building in Pretoria on Dec. 12, 2013.
  • South African children form a human chain as they walk to sign messages for Nelson Mandela during the annual Mandela Christmas party at the Mandela Museum and Youth Centre in Nelson Mandela’s ancestral village of Qunu, South Africa, on Dec. 12, 2013.
  • South African Charlotte Nthetea, 35, of South Africa, waits with other mourners for hours to catch a bus to see the body of former President Nelson Mandela, in Pretoria, South Africa, Dec. 12, 2013.
  • Hundreds of people line up to see the casket of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Dec. 11, 2013.
  • People wait to get on a bus to see the remains of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Dec. 12, 2013. The body of Nelson Mandela was being take in procession to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where it will lie in state for three days.
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Mandela's final journey

Updated

Former South African President Nelson Mandela was laid to rest on Sunday after 10 days of public mourning and memorials for the legendary anti-apartheid leader.

A state funeral was held in Qunu, Mandela’s ancestral home in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. His body arrived there Saturday and was greeted by local residents who sang and danced.

The outpouring for the late leader has been massive. More than 100,000 people paid respect to Mandela while he lay in state in Pretoria, and his memorial service on Tuesday attracted tens of thousands. Over four thousand family members, friends, and dignitaries–including Prince Charles, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Oprah Winfrey–attended Sunday’s funeral.

Mandela, who was elected his country’s first black president in 1994, died on Dec. 5 at 95. He spent 27 years in prison for his opposition to South Africa’s repressive apartheid government before emerging as a leader in the movement toward reconciliation between white and black citizens.