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South Africa

Mandela buried in boyhood home

A portrait of Nelson Mandela in the tent where ceremonies have taken place in Qunu
A portrait of Nelson Mandela in the tent where ceremonies have taken place in Qunu Reuters/Odd Andersen

South African President Jacob Zuma paid homage to Nelson Mandela at the anti-apartheid leader's burial in his childhood home, Qunu, on Sunday. Hailing Mandela as "so great and yet so humble", he pledged to "take forward the legacy".

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Zuma emphasised the late leader's role in the African National Congress (ANC), the party he represents in government, and paid tribute to Mandela's family, who had suffered during Mandela's years in jail and in politics after his release.

His tribute to Mandela's second wife, Winnie, for carrying on the anti-aparthed fight while her husband was in jail was warmly applauded and there was also recognition of the support that his last wife, Graca Machel, gave Madiba in his later years.

A Qunu resident mourns Mandela
A Qunu resident mourns Mandela AFP/Roberto Schmidt

"We will not say goodbye for you are not gone," Zuma concluded. "You live forever in our heart and minds."

Other African leaders also spoke at the ceremony.

"Mandela championed the freedom of not only South Africans but all Africans," said Malawi's President Joyce Banda.

"Madiba has lived his life well, you should live his legacy," said Tanzanian President Kikwete Jakaya.

In a ceremony that lasted longer than planned, former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda spoke of his memories of Mandela and Africa at the time of apartheid and segregation.

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RFI's Daniel Finnan is tweeting from the ceremony. You can follow him on @Daniel_Finnan.

You can watch the ceremony live on France 24.

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