Ed Cropley of Arise TV is reporting that local residents cheered the arrival of the body of Nelson Mandela when it arrived on Saturday at his ancestral home of Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Residents greeted Mr. Mandela by singing and dancing in preparation for his state funeral set for Sunday.
“As police and military helicopters buzzed overheard, the hearse carrying the remains of South Africa’s first black president rolled with a police escort into the hamlet of scatttered homes lying between green pastures.
Delighted residents broke into the South African national anthem as the cortege appeared on the road from Mthatha airport, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg.
Cheering crowds had lined parts of the road to pay their respects as the black hearse passed.
Mandela, who died on December 5 aged 95, will be buried in his family homestead in Qunu on Sunday after a state funeral combining military pomp and traditional rites of Mandela’s Xhosa abaThembu clan.”
Peroshni Govender of Arise TV reported that a crowd of mourners broke through police barriers on Friday in order to view Mr. Mandela’s body which had laid in state for the last three days. Govender writes:
“About 100,000 mourners had paid homage to the former president, a global symbol of reconciliation, over the course of the three days with more than 50,000 paying their respects on Friday, the government said in a statement.”
Read more and watch coverage of the funeral at Arise TV.