Nelson Mandela Funeral – From Humble Beginnings to Global Recognition
The Nelson Mandela funeral was an international event. And it is no wonder, because Mandela was an international figure symbolising freedom and hope.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born to his mother Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father, Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela.
He was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, Transkei, on 18 July 1918. While attending primary school in Qunu, his teacher gave him the name Nelson. After meeting Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg, he then did his articles through a firm of attorneys, completing his BA through the University of South Africa.
He was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, Transkei, on 18 July 1918. Attending primary school in Qunu, his teacher gave him the name Nelson. After meeting Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg, he did his articles through a firm of attorneys, completing his BA through the University of South Africa.
After meeting Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg, he then did his articles through a firm of attorneys, completing his BA through the University of South Africa.
The ANC Youth League
He joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League. Mandela rose through the ranks if the ANC and in 1952 he became the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign. He and others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. Police arrested him in December 1955, leading to the 1956 Treason Trial. During the trial, Mandela met and married Winnie Madikizela, a social worker at the time, and the couple had two daughters. The couple later divorced.
The Dawn of Democracy
On 10 May 1994, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected President, serving just one term. On the 5th of December 2013, current President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death from a prolonged respiratory infection. He died at his Houghton home surrounded by family. Reactions to his death poured in from governments worldwide, and this announcement stirred worldwide media coverage. The country of South Africa had a national mourning period of 10 days. The South African government declared that Sunday 8th December would be a national day of prayers and reflection.
Nelson Mandela Funeral – Thousands say their Goodbyes at the Union Buildings
Mandela’s body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from 11 – 13 December 2014 and some 100,000 mourners viewed the open casket over the three days. His grandson Mandla Mandela remained with the body for the entire three days according to custom.
People held memorial services across the country, and there was a state funeral on 15 December 2013 in his rural hometown and burial place, Qunu in the Eastern Cape Province.
Nelson Mandela Funeral -The entire Nation Watched
President Barack Obama addressed the nation at the funeral of Madiba and some 80 foreign heads of state and government travelled to South Africa to attend the funeral. There was state funeral on 15th December in an enormous tent. About 4,500 people attended the event and it had television coverage. Candles were lit under a huge portrait of Nelson Mandela before the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Ahmed Kathrada, anti-apartheid activist and close friend of Mandela, gave a speech along with others. After the funeral, Mandela’s coffin was carried out of the service by military personnel and then proceeded towards the burial site. Subsequently, members of the South African Navy lined up on the roadside near the funeral service.
Nelson Mandela Funeral – The Father of Reconciliation Laid to Rest in Qunu
Significantly, the Mandela family requested that filming of the event stop at the point of burial. Then Madiba was given a 21 gun salute as well as a missing man formation flyover by fighter jets.
Afterwards, Zuma said that South Africa had lost its greatest son, while former president, F.W. De Klerk said his emphasis on reconciliation was his biggest legacy.
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