Villagers’ goodbye to neighbour, benefactor

Mkhululi Ndamase and Michael Kimberley

TO the world he was an icon. To them he was a neighbour, their most treasured export and the man who thrust their small village of Qunu onto the global stage.

With grief etched on their faces, the villagers watched on big screens yesterday as scores of dignitaries bid a moving farewell to Nelson Mandela.

While the funeral service went on at Madiba’s homestead, young and old gathered, sang and danced at public viewing areas before his body was taken to the gravesite for burial.

Nowandile Matomela, 70, said she had decided to skip church yesterday to honour her hero.

“I am very happy that his funeral was a success, but I had hoped I would be able to attend. It is understandable that we could not all be accommodated at the farm. I am happy that he died peacefully at home,” she said.


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