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The remains of Nelson Mandela laid to rest



The body of the first black South African President, Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest on Sunday in his home village of Qunu in cape province, after a state funeral attended by 4,500 invited guests who included foreign dignitaries. Mr. Mandela died on December 5th at the age of 95. He led the transition from white minority apartheid rule to majority rule in 1994. He was jailed for 27 years for opposing the racist apartheid government and its policies. Mr. Mandela's casket was carried by the military, accompanied by family and friends, from a specially-erected tent up a hill to the graveside. Before his coffin was lowered into the grave, South African military helicopters and jets staged a fly-past, while cannons fired a 21-gun salute. Religious and political leaders paid tribute to Mr. Mandela describing him as a great leader who stood his ground against the injustices perpetrated by the apartheid system and at the same time a promoter of forgiveness and reconciliation in a country that was divided by bitterness. This is how his close friend and antiapartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, a south African of Indian descent who was imprisoned with him at Robben Island for 26 years, bade farewell to him. RealAudioMP3
The final benediction, shortly before Mandela's casket was lowered into the grave, was given by the chaplain general of the South African military, Brigadier General Monwabisi Jamangile. This is what he said. RealAudioMP3




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