General News of 2013-12-15

Nelson Mandela to be buried in Qunu ancestral home

Nelson Mandela is to be buried in his ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape, ending a week of commemorations for South Africa's first black leader.
Some 4,500 people - including foreign dignitaries - will be attending the funeral, which will blend state ceremonial with traditional rituals.
Members of his family attended an overnight vigil, with a traditional praise singer believed to be chanting details of his long journey and life.
He died on 5 December aged 95. The state funeral is expected to start at 06:00 GMT, when the coffin will be taken from Mr Mandela's house to a giant white marquee that has been specially erected.
Mr Mandela's Thembu community will conduct a traditional Xhosa ceremony - including songs and poems about Mr Mandela's life and his achievements.
An ox will be slaughtered. A family elder will stay near the coffin, which has been draped with a lion's skin, to talk "to the body's spirit".
A number of foreign dignitaries have already arrived in Qunu, including the Prince of Wales. Several African presidents and the Iranian vice-president are expected to attend the funeral.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu - a long-time friend of Nelson Mandela - has confirmed he will be present, having earlier said he had cancelled his flight as he had not received an invitation.
The South African government had earlier said the archbishop was accredited, but that no formal invitations had been sent out.
'Sad but happy' On Saturday, Mr Mandela's coffin was flown from Waterkloof airbase in Pretoria on a C130 military aircraft, escorted by two fighter jets. It later landed at Mthatha airport, some 700km (450 miles) away.
In line with tribal custom, Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla accompanied him on the journey, speaking to his coffin to tell him he was on his way home to rest.
To solemn music, the coffin draped in a South African flag was moved by a military guard of honour and placed in a hearse to begin the 32km journey to Qunu, where Mr Mandela had wanted to spend his final days.
People waving flags and cheering and singing - in places 10 to 12 deep - lined the route taken by the cortege through Mthatha town to pay their last respects.
Tears as well as smiles could be seen on the faces of onlookers.
"He is finally coming home to rest, I can't even begin to describe the feeling I have inside," 31-year-old Bongani Zibi told AFP news agency.
"Part of me is sad but I'm also happy that he has found peace."
However, some people expressed their frustration that the convoy did not stop, so they had no chance to view the coffin as people in Pretoria had.
The cortege then drove through the gates of the Mandela homestead in Qunu.
Ahead of the flight to the Eastern Cape, members of the African National Congress paid final tributes to Nelson Mandela at a ceremony in Pretoria.
President Jacob Zuma, other ANC leaders and more than 1,000 members of the organisation which Mr Mandela once led, attended the event at the Waterkloof air base.
It included a multi-faith service and a musical tribute.
Mourners heard President Zuma pay his own tribute to Nelson Mandela, calling him a "towering figure", "a man of action" and a "democrat who understood the world."
"Yes, we will miss him... He was our father, he was our guardian. He was something special."
"We'll always keep you in our hearts," Mr Zuma said.
At least 100,000 people saw the former president's body lying in state during the week in Pretoria, but some had to be turned away.