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Tributes Flow For Mandela At Funeral – Farewell Madiba

IMG_0016Tributes a flowed for the great African statesman Nelson Mandela at his funeral in Qunu, South Africa.

Some of the most moving tributes came from those who described Mr. Mandela not as a 20th century colossus, but as a friend and beloved relative.

“I don’t consider him my friend. He was my older brother,” said Ahmed Kathrada, an anti-apartheid activist who spent time at Robben Island prison with Mr. Mandela.

Granddaughter Nandi Mandela described Mr. Mandela as a strict grandfather who loved telling stories of his childhood.

She finished her tribute by saying in Xhosa: “go well Madiba….go well to the land of our ancestors, you have ran your race.”

Mr. Mandela’s body will be buried in a private plot in accordance with traditional practices later today.

Mourners left flowers, posters, poems and cards, among other things, at a makeshift memorial outside of Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013. (Peter Cox for VOA)

Mourners left flowers, posters, poems and cards, among other things, at a makeshift memorial outside of Mandela’s home in Houghton, Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013. (Peter Cox for VOA)

Friends, world leaders and family members hailed former South African President Nelson Mandela on Sunday as a man who transformed his family, his country and the world in a somber funeral service in his rural hometown.

Mourners included Oprah Winfrey, billionaire Richard Branson, Prince Charles of the United Kingdom and numerous South African activists who assisted Mr. Mandela in the struggle to end the racist apartheid regime. He spent 27 years in prison for his opposition and emerged to be elected South Africa’s first black president, in 1994.

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