Mandela’s journey draws to a close

Pretoria, South Africa (PANA) – The hearse carrying the body of world statesman Nelson Mandela arrived at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria early Saturday morning enroute to Qunu for Sunday’s burial, a PANA Correspondent reported.

At a sombre ceremony which was addressed by President Jacob Zuma, scores of dignitaries, including US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, heard how Mandela’s remarkable journey was now drawing to a close.

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, noted that he has spent the past three days next to the body of the global icon while he was lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"I have witnessed his army, I have witnessed his people, I have witnessed ordinary citizens... and I can assure the you that the future of this country looks bright," he said.

Several religious leaders also addressed the ceremony with Imam Sheik Habib reflecting the mood of the moment: "We love you," he said.

PANA reported that Mandela's body will be flown to the Eastern Cape later Saturday.

He will be buried in Qunu, where he spent most of his childhood, on Sunday.

On Monday, a national day of reconciliation will take place back at the Union Buildings where a large statue of Mandela will be unveiled.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 14Dec2013

14 december 2013 09:12:14

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