At the end of the memorial ceremony a military guard of honour carried Mr Mandela’s coffin, draped in the South African flag, out of the marquee as the audience sang.
State funeral: Mandela’s coffin is carried into the white tent for the service by senior military figures and an Army chaplain
Tribute: A military officer places the framed flag of South Africa on top of Mandela’s coffin at the start of his funeral service this morning
Nelson Mandela spent much of his childhood in the small, Eastern Cape village of Qunu – a place he chose to return to after his release from prison. The ceremony was held in a marquee constructed for the event.
The President of South Africa Jacob Zuma began his address in song and was joined by the audience. He went on to say. “We wish today to express two simple words: thank you. Thank you for being everything that we wanted and needed in a leader during a difficult time in our lives. Whilst the long walk to freedom has ended in the physical sense our own journey continues.”
Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe, centre, sits in front of her father’s coffin during the ceremony
Goodbye to an icon: Nelson Mandela’s coffin is slowly lowered into the ground in the hills close to where he grew up at the small, private burial today in Qunu as military salute and mourners watch the poignant moment
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