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South Africans Prepare for Mandela Burial

Friends, family and world leaders are preparing to bury former South African president Nelson Mandela in his rural home town of Qunu.

More than 4,000 attended an emotional funeral program Sunday, where Mr. Mandela's granddaughter and several African presidents paid final tribute to the anti-apartheid leader, who died 10 days ago at age 95.

South African President Jacob Zuma called his predecessor "a fountain of wisdom, a pillar of strength, and a beacon of hope for all those fighting for a just and equitable world order."

A South military procession is now carrying Mr. Mandela's body to the gravesite for a brief ceremony and the burial.



Mourners at Sunday's service included Oprah Winfrey, billionaire Richard Branson 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.

Family representative Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima mentioned politics in his speech, criticizing those who booed current president Jacob Zuma at a memorial service this week.

"What we saw on Tuesday at FNB Stadium should never be seen again in this country," he told mourners in the Xhosa language.

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."

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