Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest

The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.

The coffin of South African former president Nelson Mandela is escorted to the compound for his funeral ceremony in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on December 15 2013. (Elmond Jiyane, AFP)
The widow of Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel (centre), and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela (right), arrive for the funeral. South Africa's first black president received a tearful state funeral at his childhood village of Qunu on Sunday, followed by a traditional burial attended by family and friends. (Elmond Jiyane, AFP)
Presidential guards escort the coffin. Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, died in Johannesburg on December 5 at age 95. (Elmond Jiyane, AFP)
South Africa's Minister of Public Service Lindiwe Sisulu is comforted as she arrives for the funeral. (Elmond Jiyane, AFP)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President Thabo Mbeki greet each other before the funeral ceremony. Tutu attended the funeral in a last-minute change of heart after saying on Saturday he had cancelled plans to go to Qunu after finding he had not been invited. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Mandela's coffin is seen covered in a South African flag at the funeral. (AFP)
ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was one of the master of ceremonies at the funeral, which drew 4 500 guests. A host of African leaders, global dignitaries and celebrities were present. (AFP)
"The person who is lying here is South Africa's greatest son," Ramaphosa said as the service got under way. (AFP)
Members of the African National Congress Women's League sing at the funeral. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma sat flanked by Nelson Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela (left) and Mandela's widow, Graça Machel (right). (Felix Dlangamandla, AFP)
Mandela family representative, chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, criticised the conduct of some people at the official memorial service for Mandela. "What we saw on Tuesday at FNB Stadium should never be seen again in this country," he told mourners. Matanzima said he wished South Africa and the ANC would follow Mandela's example of how he lived his life and united the country. (AFP)
Mandela's granddaughter Nandi Mandela spoke on behalf of all his children and grandchildren, giving personal anecdotes about her grandfather. (Odd Andersen, AFP)
Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela (right). (AFP)
Mandela's close friend and fellow Robben Island prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada, gave a heart-rending tribute, where he spoke of being bereft after losing the man he considered a brother."My life is in a void and I do not know who to turn to," he said. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Kathrada's voice broke when he described the last time he saw Mandela who had been "reduced to a shadow of himself". He said he and Mandela had called each another "Madala" [elder]. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Ethiopia's Prime Minister and chairperson of the African Union, Hailemariam Desalegn, said that "the whole continent needs to look at the legacy that Mandela has left behind, and continue his struggle". (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete spoke of the long association Mandela had with his country. His country hosted the ANC while it was in exile and provided it with a home. (AFP)
British entrepreneur Richard Branson (right) and US TV host Oprah Winfrey (centre) attended the funeral. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
President of Malawi and SADC Chairperson Joyce Banda gave a moving tribute to Madiba, saying how much she learnt from him: “I learned that leadership is about falling in love with the people you serve and having them fall in love with you.” (AFP)
Banda saluted Mandela's widow Graça Machel's quiet dignity, saying, "women across South Africa have told me these past 10 days that they are very proud of you and what you have taught us as African women." (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Banda appealed to President Zuma to ensure South Africa “remains united and continues to be a rainbow nation, for this is what Tata Madiba cherished”. (Odd Andersen, AFP)
The crowd, including Zuma, laughed after Cyril Ramaphosa thanked Banda for her speech. “Yes, Malawi,” he said. This was a reference to Zuma’s remarks earlier in the year about the country not having roads as good as South Africa’s. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda gave a candid, off-the-cuff speech. (AFP)
Graça Machel wipes her tears during the funeral ceremony. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
"We did not want to confront the reality of your mortality," President Jacob Zuma said during his eulogy. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
"As your journey ends today, ours must continue in earnest. One thing we can assure you of today, Tata, as you take your final steps, is that South Africa will continue to rise," Zuma said. (AFP)
Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa gave the sermon. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
Mandela's coffin leaves the ceremony and is carried on a gun carriage to his family burial site where he was buried beside his parents and his son. (Kopanto Tlape, AFP)
Mandela's casket was carried from the funeral tent just past noon to be buried in the family gravesite—in keeping with Xhosa custom that dictates that the dead are laid to rest when the sun is at it highest. Zuma, Mbeki and past and present Cabinet ministers followed on foot. (Felix Dlangamandla, AFP)
Presidential guards escort the coffin. A small group of 450 mourners presided over the burial. (Odd Andersen, Reuters)
People watch South African armed forces follow the funeral procession carrying the coffin to the compound for the funeral ceremony. (Pedro Ugarte, AFP)
People dance and sing near the funeral site. (Pedro Ugarte, AFP)
Army helicopters carry South African flags over the burial ground, reminiscent of Mandela's 1994 inauguration. (Yannis Behrakis, Reuters)
A 21 gun salute is fired as the funeral procession carrying the coffin moves inside the compound. (Carl De Souza, AFP)
Mandela's coffin is lowered from the gun carriage. (Carl De Souza, AFP)
South African armed forces stand around the coffin before and after it is lowered into the grave. The funeral has ended 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world. (AFP)