Mandela to Be Buried in Hometown with State Honors

World | December 6, 2013, Friday // 09:26|  views

Hugely popular South African leader, Nelson Mandela, passed away at the age of 95, photo

Nelson Mandela's body had been moved to a military hospital in Pretoria and it's expected to be embalmed in the next three to four days.

The news was reported by CNN Friday morning, quoting the official SAPA news agency.

After the embalmment, a public memorial service will be held at a Johannesburg soccer stadium, according to South African government sources.

Then, Mandela's casket will lie in state for several days in Pretoria, and next week -- probably Friday or Saturday -- it will be flown to his ancestral hometown of Qunu for a state funeral and burial.

Until that funeral, President Jacob Zuma has ordered flags around South Africa to be "flown at half-mast." Other countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, are also flowing flags at half-mast.

In recent years, the hugely popular leader largely stayed out of the public spotlight due to his medical issues, including a hospitalization for a lung infection in June.

On September 1, Mandela was discharged from a hospital in Pretoria where he had been receiving treatment since June, and was moved to a home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton.

Last month, ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South African media that tubes used to clear his lungs meant to prevent infections, but also made it so that he could not speak.

"He communicates with the face, you see," Madikizela-Mandela said then.

Mandela's history of lung problems dates to his days in Robben Island, where he was imprisoned for 27 years as part of his fight to overturn the country's system of racial segregation.

His last high-profile public appearance came in 2010, when South Africa hosted soccer's World Cup.

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Tags: South Africa, president, Jacob Zuma, Nelson Mandela, state funeral, Johannesburg, Qunu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, lung infection


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