Nelson Mandela Buried After State Funeral
] The president responded as best he could he stuck his fingers in his ears and smiled. This brings us to the awkward situation South African President Jacob Zuma found himself in at Nelson Mandela‘s memorial service on December 10 when he was pelted with a barrage of metaphorical size-D batteries and snowballs. The ceremony, part of a 10-day farewell to the country’s first black leader and international human rights icon, was held at FNB stadium (aka “Soccer City”) a cavernous 90,000 seat open-air arena that was home to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and host of countless rugby and soccer matches as well as concerts. When images of Zuma appeared on the large overhead screens, tens of thousands of onlookers who packed the stadium booed loudly for long, sustained intervals. Officials at SABC, a public television station that was carrying a live feed of the event, meanwhile, instructed producers to cut away every time the president was booed so as not to embarrass the ANC’s leadership.
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Nelson Mandela funeral: What to expect as global icon is laid to rest
“He tightly held my hand, it was profoundly heartbreaking,” Kathrada said, his voice breaking at times. “How I wish I never had to confront what I saw. I first met him 67 years ago and I recall the tall, healthy strong man, the boxer, the prisoner who easily wielded the pick and shovel when we couldn’t do so.” Some mourners wiped away tears as Kathrada spoke, his voice trembling with emotion. Mandela’s widow, Grace Machel, and his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, were dressed in black and sat on either side of South African President Jacob Zuma. Guests included veterans of the military wing of the African National Congress, the liberation movement that became the dominant political force after the end of apartheid, as well as U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard and other foreign envoys. Britain’s Prince Charles, Monaco’s Prince Albert II, U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey, billionaire businessman Richard Branson and former Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were also there. More than an hour into the service, people were still filling empty seats in parts of the marquee. Soldiers moved in to occupy some chairs. Earlier, South African honor guards from the army, navy and air force marched in formation amid rolling green hills dotted with small dwellings and neatly demarcated plots of farmland.
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Nelson Mandela laid to rest following state funeral
10, 2013. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) People draped in flags bearing the image of Nelson Mandela arrive for the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) South African President Jacob Zuma, right, hugs Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, right, greets, Former Colombian President Andres Pastrana before the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela