South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon has been buried at a ceremony in his ancestral village of Qunu, ending a week of commemorations for the man whose tortured struggle for racial equality helped end white-minority rule, Al Jazeera reports. Military helicopters flew over as pallbearers placed Mandela’s casket over the grave after a funeral ceremony on Sunday, attended by African leaders, celebrities and businessmen from Europe and the United States. South African television showed Mandela’s casket at the family gravesite, but stopped broadcasting the event before the casket was lowered at the request of the Mandela family. Mandela died on December 5 after battling a chronic lung infection for months. The state funeral in the rolling hills of the East Cape province began at 7:55am and was attended by 4,500 guests. Prominent mourners included Britain’s Prince Charles and US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson.
US TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey and British businessman Richard Branson also attended the funeral. “Today marks the end of an extraordinary journey that began 95 years ago,” said President Jacob Zuma, referring to Mandela’s age.