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Nelson Mandela's funeral service ends

Updated: 2013-12-15 20:02
( Xinhua)

QUNU, South Africa - Nelson Mandela's funeral service ends in his ancestral village of Qunu in Eastern Cape on Sunday.

Mandela was buried next to his relatives as he wished in Qunu, a small village, where Mandela spent most of years in his childhood.

"It was in that village that I spent some of the happiest years of my boyhood and whence I trace my earliest memories," he wrote in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

Only about 450 out of around 5,000 guests invited to the funeral ceremony attended the burial.

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma said Africa commits to carrying forward Mandela's legacy at the official funeral ceremony of the country's former president held on Qunu on Sunday.

"While the long walk has ended in the physical sense, our own journey continues," said Zuma in his speech at the funeral ceremony.

"Thank you for being everything we wanted and needed in a leader during a difficult period in our lives," he said.

Politician leaders from Africa also paid tribute to Mandela, South Africa's first black president and the anti-apartheid icon in the world.

Malawi's President and SADC Chairperson Joyce Banda said she was inspired by Mandela, who had a spirit of forgiveness.

She said Tata believed all people are created equal and that he saw no boundaries and championed freedom of all of Africans.

African Union Chair and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Mandela's life was a record of all the trials the African countries had to endure under colonialism.

Humanity is better because of the likes of Madiba, he said, in reference to Mandela's Xhosa name, which is regarded as that of Africa's greatest sons and a father of freedom.

Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete said the people of Tanzania have lost a great friend, a great comrade in arms.

Mandela's funeral marked the end of a 10-day official morning since December 5, when the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at his home in Houghton.

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