President Jacob Zuma violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his Nkandla private home, the highest court in South Africa has ruled.
The court gave the treasury 60 days to determine how much he should repay.
The ruling is a victory for the opposition, who said they would push for Jacob Zuma’s impeachment.
They accuse him of using “ill-gotten wealth” to upgrade his home with a swimming pool and amphitheatre.
Jacob Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.
A government statement said Jacob Zuma would “reflect” on the judgement and take “appropriate action”.
An anti-corruption body, known as the public protector, ruled in 2014 that $23million had been spent on Jacob Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.
Jacob Zuma had “unduly benefited” from the renovations and should repay a portion of the money, the public protector said.
In a unanimous judgement on behalf of the Constitutional Court’s 11 judges, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the public protector was a “Biblical David” fighting against the Goliath of corruption.
Jacob Zuma’s failure to repay the money was “inconsistent” with the constitution, he added.
“The president failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution,” he declared.
Mogoeng Mogoeng added that public officials ignored the constitution at their peril, and should remember that the rule of law was the “sharp and mighty sword that stands ready to chop the ugly head of impunity from its stiffened neck”.
South African President Jacob Zuma has made a U-turn in court over his refusal to repay some of the $23 million of state money used to upgrade his Nkandla home.
Jacob Zuma’s lawyer admitted the president was wrong to ignore an anti-corruption watchdog’s report to pay back money spent on features such as a swimming pool.
The opposition brought the case, hoping it will open the way for impeachment proceedings against Jacob Zuma.
Thousands of people protested outside court, shouting “Zuma must fall”.
Police put up a strong show of force, as the protesters, led by Julius Malema’s left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), marched to the court in Johannesburg.
The protest was against “corruption and cronyism” in government, the EFF said.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) also organized its own demonstration.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) denounced the marches as a “political exercise”.
The opposition parties want the Constitutional Court to rule that Jacob Zuma flouted the constitution by ignoring a 2014 report by the anti-corruption watchdog, known as the Public Protector, that he should repay the money, as he had “unduly benefited” from the upgrade.
At the time, the police minister defended the expenditure as necessary security upgrades, saying the swimming pool was, in fact, a fire pool that could be used in the event a fire broke out at the residence in Jacob Zuma’s home village of Nkandla.
An amphitheatre, cattle enclosure and chicken run were also built.
Jacob Zuma’s lawyer, Jeremy Gauntlett, conceded in court that the report was “binding” on the president, and he was prepared to repay the money within 90 days.
However, Jeremy Gauntlett denied that Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution.
The hashtag #PayBackTheMoney, mirroring the slogan used by EFF members to taunt the president, has been trending in South Africa.
The case comes at a difficult time for Jacob Zuma, who has also been under fire over his handling of the finance ministry, after he sacked two ministers in a week in 2015.
Many South Africans also accuse Jacob Zuma’s government of not doing enough to tackle corruption and poverty.
South African President Jacob Zuma will repay some of the $23 million the government controversially spent on upgrading his private rural home in Nkandla.
In 2014, a report by the public protector said Jacob Zuma had “benefited unduly” from the upgrades.
President Jacob Zuma said the auditor-general and finance minister should determine how much he should repay to end the dispute.
The announcement comes a week before a constitutional hearing on the matter.
The refurbishment of the residence in the village of Nkandla, in Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, has turned into a major political controversy in South Africa.
Some of the money was spent on building an amphitheatre, swimming pool, and cattle enclosure.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who have called for a corruption investigation, say they are pressing ahead with their court case regardless of the president’s latest offer.
Following Jacob Zuma’s announcement #PayBackThemoney is trending in South Africa – this was the phrase EFF lawmakers chanted at the president in parliament in 2015.
Many commentators seem skeptical.
Jacob Zuma’s delayed willingness to pay back the money spent on the upgrades to his Nkandla residence could be a calculated move to avoid embarrassment at the Constitutional Court hearing expected next week.
It could also be linked to the forthcoming local government election.
The Nkandla scandal has been a sore point for the governing African National Congress (ANC) which president Jacob Zuma leads, especially as the party faithful go out to campaign for votes.
Mos Def has been ordered to leave South Africa within 14 days after being arrested for breaking immigration laws.
The American rapper, now known as Yasiin Bey, was held at Cape Town International Airport on January 14 after trying to leave South Africa with unrecognized papers.
South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs said the 42-year-old singer produced what he called a “world passport”.
It said Mos Def had overstayed his tourist visa, obtained in 2013.
Born Dante Smith in New York, Yasiin Bey is now banned from South Africa for five years, but has been allowed to appeal. He had been living in Cape Town since May 2013, South African media said.
“Further investigation into the matter revealed that Mr. Smith’s wife, mother and four children had overstayed and were sojourning in the country illegally,” a statement by the Department of Home Affairs said.
As well as being nominated for six Grammy Awards, Mos Def has appeared in a number of movies, including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Be Kind Rewind and The Italian Job.
South Africa’s King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo has begun a 12-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault and arson.
King Dalindyebo, who is a nephew of the late Nelson Mandela, reported to prison after his legal attempts to overturn his conviction failed.
The case against King Dalindyebo was related to a dispute he had with some of his subjects about 20 years ago.
He comes from the Thembu clan, to which Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, belonged.
King Dalindyebo, 51, is the first monarch to be jailed in South Africa since minority rule ended in 1994.
He ascended to the throne in 1989, and has about 700,000 subjects.
South Africa has 10 officially recognized monarchs representing different ethnic groups and clans.
They play a largely ceremonial role, and attend to minor disputes within their communities.
King Dalindyebo was accused of kidnapping a woman and her six children, setting their home on fire and beating up four youths, one of whom died, because one of their relatives had failed to present himself before the king’s traditional court.
He handed himself to prison authorities in the eastern city of Mthatha in compliance with a court order after a judge refused to extend his bail on December 30, the justice ministry said in a statement.
Earlier, Justice Minister Michael Masutha turned down his request for a retrial, saying there was no legal justification for doing so.
King Dalindyebo had maintained his innocence, saying he disciplined his subjects under customary law.
Sentencing him in October, the Supreme Court of Appeal said: “His behavior was all the more deplorable because the victims of his reign of terror were the vulnerable rural poor, who were dependent upon him. Our constitution does not countenance such behavior.
“We are a constitutional democracy in which everyone is accountable and where the most vulnerable are entitled to protection.”
Many people feel King Dalindyebo has disgraced the royal family, and that he will be hard-pressed to find any sympathy, correspondents say.
There is already talk of his son, Prince Azenethi Dalindyebo, being crowned as the next monarch.
King Dalindyebo defected from the governing African National Congress (ANC) to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party during his legal battles.
The DA revoked King Dalindyebo’s membership following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
A new human-like species have been discovered in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa, BBC reported.
According to researchers, the discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa.
The scientists claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.
The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behavior.
Photo National Geographic
The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo, to which modern humans belong.
The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived.
Prof. Lee Berger, the scientist who led the team, told BBC that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.
He also said naledi could be thought of as a “bridge” between more primitive bipedal primates and humans.
The haul of 15 partial skeletons includes both males and females of varying ages – from infants to elderly. The discovery is unprecedented in Africa and will shed more light on how the first humans evolved.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir returns home after fleeing South Africa, pre-empting a court ruling over an international warrant for his arrest.
Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes.
The Pretoria High Court was due to decide whether Omar al-Bashir should be handed over to the ICC which charged him with the crimes.
Omar al-Bashir was in Johannesburg for an African Union (AU) summit.
A news conference will be held in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, upon his arrival.
On June 14, a judge barred Omar al-Bashir from leaving until the arrest application had been considered.
Omar al-Bashir is accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the Darfur conflict.
The UN says that about 300,000 people in Sudan have died and more than two million have fled their homes since fighting began in 2003.
Government forces and allied Arab militias are accused of targeting black African civilians in the fight against the rebels.
At the hearing at the Pretoria High Court, the lawyer representing the South African government says Omar al-Bashir’s name was not on the list of passengers who took off earlier.
On June 15, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ICC’s warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir must be implemented by countries who have signed up to the court’s statutes.
As a member of the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest anyone charged by the court. Before the summit, the ICC issued a press statement urging the South African government “to spare no effort in ensuring the execution of the arrest warrant”.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over war crimes charges, left Khartoum on June 13 to travel to South Africa for an African (AU) summit, state news agency SUNA said.
The ICC has called on South Africa to arrest Omar al-Bashir.
Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes over the conflict in Darfur.
An ICC statement said South Africa should “spare no effort” in detaining him.
But instead he was welcomed by South African officials on his arrival in Johannesburg, SABC tweeted.
Since the Sudanese president was indicted by the ICC in 2009 over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Darfur conflict, his overseas travel has been severely restricted.
Omar al-Bashir was accompanied by the foreign minister and other top Sudanese officials, SUNA reported.
There are tensions between the ICC and the AU, with some on the continent accusing the court of unfairly targeting Africans.
The AU has previously urged the ICC to stop proceedings against sitting leaders.
The warrants against Omar al-Bashir, who denies the allegations, have severely restricted his overseas travel.
He has, however, visited friendly states in Africa and the Middle East.
The ICC has no police force and relies on member states to carry out arrests.
As a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, South Africa is obliged to arrest Omar al-Bashir if he sets foot in the country, but correspondents say this is unlikely to happen.
The AU has previously refused to co-operate with the ICC, accusing it of bias against African leaders.
Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of states to the ICC, expressed “deep concern about the negative consequences for the court” if South Africa refused to comply with its obligations to carry out the arrest.
Human rights organizations and South Africa’s main opposition party have also called for Omar al-Bashir’s arrest.
Darfur has been in conflict since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government. The UN says more than 300,000 people have died, mostly from disease.
The ICC has ended an investigation into war crimes in the region, but the warrants against Omar al-Bashir remain outstanding. The court accuses him of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
An American tourist has been killed in a lion attack at a game park in South Africa, local media reported.
The feline, a lioness, jumped through the open window of the couple’s car and started mauling the woman, a park official said.
Paramedics were called to the scene but she died from her injuries, while the man is still receiving treatment.
The popular Lion Park is 19 miles north of Johannesburg.
The park’s rules forbid visitors from driving through the lion enclosure with their windows down
Park rangers chased the lioness away after the attack, and it is not clear whether the animal will now have to be put down.
Local media are reporting that the woman’s death marks the third incident in the past four months at the park.
The official South African tourism website describes the park as a “hybrid between a zoo and a game reserve”, while the Lion Park’s website says “super close-up animal views” are guaranteed. Cheetahs, spotted hyenas and giraffe are also in the park.
The Lion Park is one of South Africa’s most popular destinations, attracting tourists from around the world.
An astonishing coincidence has led to the discovery of Zephany Nurse, who was stolen from her mother’s arms in Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn 17 years ago.
A 50-year-old woman has appeared in court over the baby’s kidnapping.
Celeste and Morne Nurse, the girl’s biological parents, were reunited with her after she was enrolled in the same school as her sister. They lost their three-day-old daughter when she was snatched from her sleeping mother’s arms in her hospital bed in April 1997.
After seeing the pair’s likeness, the biological family invited the girl for coffee and then contacted police.
DNA tests have confirmed the identity of the girl, who has been placed in the care of social workers.
Morne Nurse said his daughter was receiving extensive counseling.
His wife said it was “like a dream” to see her daughter again.
“When she met Cassidy [her sister], there was just an incredible connection and it started from there,” she told CapeTalk radio.
“Her birthday is on April 28. This year we can celebrate it with her. It will be her first birthday with us and we have to plan something very big.”
Celeste and Morné Nurse, who went on to have three more children, have celebrated Zephany’s birthday every year since she disappeared, never giving up hope that their first-born would come back to them someday.
Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter.
A relative of the alleged kidnapper told reporters outside the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court: “We grew up with the child, we took care of her.”
The arrested woman and her husband, who live in the Cape Flats, have no other children.
The woman is being charged with kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act, in that she fraudulently pretended that she was the biological mother of a child, police said.
The South African parliament descended into chaos as leftist lawmakers scuffled with security during a key annual speech by President Jacob Zuma.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, repeatedly interrupted Jacob Zuma, demanding answers over a spending scandal.
The speaker of parliament then ordered their removal, prompting scuffles.
The largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, walked out in protest at their expulsion.
“You can’t send police into parliament,” said Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.
The EFF used President Jacob Zuma’s annual State of the Nation speech to question him about a state-funded, multi-million dollar upgrade to his private residence.
They were evicted by large numbers of security guards. Among those thrown out was Julius Malema.
Julius Malema defended his lawmakers’ actions, calling it a legitimate attempt to defend democracy, adding that seven of his party had been injured and would be pressing charges.
It is not clear whether the guards were police or parliamentary officials: an important distinction, according to one lawmaker, who said the use of police would be a way of intimidating the opposition.
Julius Malema and Jacob Zuma were once close allies but the pair fell out.
The EFF has shaken up South African politics with a series of populist proposals to redistribute wealth.
EFF lawmakers accuse Jacob Zuma of benefitting unduly from taxpayer-funded upgrades to his private residence in the village of Nkandla and they wanted the president to answer questions about this before making his state of the nation speech.
In 2014, an independent inquiry found the president had “unduly benefited” from the expensive upgrades, which included a pool and a cattle enclosure and cost about $23 million.
President Jacob Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.
Despite criticism of the Nkandla upgrade and South Africa’s stagnant economy, Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress was overwhelmingly re-elected last year.
South Africa is marking one year since the death of Nelson Mandela with numerous events held across the country, including a wreath-laying ceremony and a cricket match.
Anti-apartheid movement veterans joined Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, at a remembrance service in Pretoria.
Sirens and vuvuzelas sounded across the country before a commemorative three minutes’ silence was held.
There was a worldwide outpouring of grief when South Africa’s first black president died in 2013 at the age of 95.
Nelson Mandela, also known by his clan name of Madiba, spent 27 years in prison for fighting white-minority rule in South Africa.
Veteran liberation struggle hero Ahmed Kathrada addressed the remembrance service at the Union Buildings in the capital, Pretoria, on Friday morning.
He described Nelson Mandela as a democrat with a touch of autocratic rule.
“The body gave in but Madiba’s spirit never, never changed, it was always the same until the end,” his widow, Graca Machel, said before laying a wreath at the base of the 9m (30 ft) tall bronze statue of her husband.
Graca Machel said it remained the responsibility of every person in the world to ensure his legacy lived on.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu also paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying: “We thank God for him, and the example he gave us. He taught us about the worth of a human being, all human beings.”
An interfaith service was held at Freedom Park in Pretoria earlier on Friday.
Commemorations are taking place across the country, including at Nelson Mandela’s birthplace of Qunu where a marquee has been erected outside the Nelson Mandela Museum.
Nelson Mandela was buried in his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape 10 days after he died.
South Africa’s Kruger National Park will evacuate hundreds of rhinos to save them from poachers.
The move, which is part of a plan to curb illegal hunts for rhino horn, was announced by the environment minister.
Kruger National Park authorities said they could relocate up to 500 rhinos, which can each weigh more than a tonne.
South Africa is home to more than 80% of Africa’s rhinos. Illegal poaching has risen sharply from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013.
Environment Minister Edna Molewa said the relocations from the Kruger National Park, coupled with the creation of “rhino strongholds”, could “allow the total rhino population size of South Africa to continue to grow”.
South Africa’s Kruger National Park will evacuate hundreds of rhinos to save them from poachers
“South Africa, with its large rhino populations, has borne the brunt of rhino poaching. We remain confident that our efforts in implementing the integrated strategic approach will build on our successful track record of conserving rhino,” she said.
The rhinos may be moved to other areas of lower poaching rates such as state-owned or private nature parks, areas within the Kruger Park closer to the Mozambique border, or even to neighboring countries, according to the minister.
The new initiative will be supported by the South African government’s Security Cluster to work on tougher penalties for those caught hunting rhinos illegally.
The famed Kruger National Park, which is of a similar size to Wales or Israel, is thought to be home to as few as 8,400 white rhinos.
Park authorities said Kruger was the biggest target for poaching in the region, with more rhinos killed there each year than anywhere else in South Africa.
Although international trade in rhino horn has been illegal since 1977, demand remains high in some Asian countries, where it is used both in traditional medicine and as a symbol of wealth.
A collection of unusual items signed by Nelson Mandela is being auctioned in Johannesburg.
The lots include a chess set, of figures from either side of the apartheid battle, and salt and pepper shakers of Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.
The sale items are expected to raise around $450,000 for charity.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died in December aged 95, was revered around the world for fighting minority rule in his country.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, before being released in 1990 by FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white ruler.
Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999
He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999.
The auction of 202 lots is being held on the eve of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 96th birthday.
“Nelson Mandela signed many, many, many things. And that’s what I like about it [the auction],” said Savo Tufegdzic of Stephan Welz & Co, the firm that will put the items under the hammer.
“People always look for autographs, but there are only a handful of items signed by those celebrities. In the case of Nelson Mandela, every person can own a piece of him.”
The chess set has pieces depicting Nelson Mandela, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu facing off against apartheid leaders.
The set, which has some pieces missing, is thought to be worth between $950 and $1,400, the South African Press Association (SAPA) news agency reports.
The auction also includes objects ranging from statues, photographs, refrigerator magnets, ostrich eggs, medals, books and even a batch of 850 Chinese telephone cards emblazoned with Nelson Mandela’s image.
Some of the money raised would go to the Foundation for Rural Development run by Nelson Mandela’s grand-daughter Ndileka Mandela, SAPA reports.
South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela left an estate valued at more than 46 million rand ($4.13 million), a public reading of his will has revealed.
Executor Justice Dikgang Moseneke, summarizing what he said was a 40-page document, said he was “not aware of any contest” to the will.
Close personal staff each get 50,000 rand. Schools Nelson Mandela attended are due to receive 100,000 rand.
Nelson Mandela died in December at the age of 95.
Nelson Mandela left an estate valued at more than 46 million rand
He left behind an estate that includes an upmarket house in Johannesburg, a modest dwelling in his rural Eastern Cape home province and royalties from book sales, including his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.
Nelson Mandela also left 100,000 rand to each of four other educational institutions, for bursaries and scholarships.
The mood of the Mandela family when the will was read was “charged with emotions but it went well,” said the executor, who added that the Mandela family were “well pleased” by his will.
The family trust will receive 1.5 million rand, plus royalties.
The ANC will also receive some royalties, to be used at the discretion of the party’s executive committee, to spread information about the principles and policies of the ANC, particularly about reconciliation.
There is a 90-day period in which Nelson Mandela will can be contested.
South African sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered by government to remove a bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue.
The statue was unveiled after the former president’s death last month.
The sculptors reportedly inserted the rabbit as a trademark signature and to denote the haste with which they had to complete the statue.
Rabbit in the Afrikaans language is “haas”, which also means haste.
Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95, was widely acclaimed for his role in fighting white minority rule and promoting reconciliation after being elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
Sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered to remove the bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue
The 30-ft-bronze statue was unveiled on December 16, a day after Nelson Mandela was buried.
It stands at the Union Buildings, the government headquarters in the capital, Pretoria.
With Nelson Mandela’s hands reaching outward, the statute was intended to show that he had embraced the whole nation.
Mogomotsi Mogodiri, the spokesman for the Department of Arts and Culture, said the sculptors had apologized for any offence caused to the government and Nelson Mandela’s family by placing the rabbit in the statue’s right ear.
Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren said they had added the rabbit to the statue after the department refused to allow them to engrave their signatures on the trousers of the statue, South Africa’s Beeld newspaper reported.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial who is accused of making up gestures, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, local media report.
Thamsanqa Jantjie “might have had a breakdown”, his wife Siziwe is quoted as saying.
Sign language experts accused Thamsanqa Jantjie of referring to “prawns” and “rocking horses” while translating eulogies at Nelson Mandela’s memorial last week.
Thamsanqa Jantjie said he suffered a sudden attack of schizophrenia.
He insisted he was a qualified interpreter.
South Africa’s Deputy Disability Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has said the company which had employed him had “vanished”.
Thamsanqa Jantjie has been admitted to Johannesburg psychiatric hospital
Thamsanqa Jantjie’s wife took him to a psychiatric hospital near Johannesburg for a check-up on Tuesday, and it was suggested that he be admitted immediately, Johannesburg’s The Star newspaper reports.
“The past few days have been hard. We have been supportive because he might have had a breakdown,” Siziwe Jantjie is quoted as saying.
Last week, Thamsanqa Jantjie said he was supposed to have gone for a check-up on the day of the memorial, but he postponed it.
During the memorial at Johannesburg’s FNB stadium, which was broadcast live around the world, Thamsanqa Jantjie stood on the stage next to key speakers including President Barack Obama, South African President Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren, translating their eulogies.
Thamsanqa Jantjie blamed his flawed interpretation on a schizophrenic episode, saying he had seen angels coming into the stadium.
The White House has downplayed fears that he was a security risk to President Obama.
Sign language experts said Thamsanqa Jantjie had made “funny gestures” and little more than “flapping his arms around”.
The governing African National Congress (ANC) said it had used Thamsanqa Jantjie as an interpreter several times before, and “had not been aware of any of complaints regarding the quality of services, qualifications or reported illnesses” of the interpreter.
A statue of Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, a day after he was buried.
The 30ft bronze statue has been erected at the Union Buildings, South Africa’s government headquarters.
The statue, with Nelson Mandela’s hands reaching outward, was intended to show that he had embraced the whole nation, President Jacob Zuma said.
Nelson Mandela was given a state funeral at his ancestral home on Sunday.
African National Congress (ANC) members, veterans of the fight against apartheid and foreign dignitaries – including several African presidents and the Prince of Wales – attended the funeral ceremony in the village of Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
The funeral ceremony followed a 10-day period of mourning and celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life after his death at the age of 95.
The national flag was raised on Monday from its half-mast position, and was flying as normal.
Nelson Mandela statue has been erected at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Nelson Mandela statue was unveiled on South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation, a public holiday which marks the end of racial conflict in South Africa.
“Former President Mandela is associated with the promotion of reconciliation which is why the day was chosen for the unveiling,” said the government.
During white minority rule, December 16 was called the Day of Covenant to honor the victory of Afrikaners over a Zulu army in an 1838 clash known as the Battle of Blood River.
More than a century later, on December 16, 1961, Nelson Mandela launched an armed group, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), to fight South Africa’s white minority rule.
It led to his arrest and imprisonment for 27 years.
After he became president in 1994 at the end of minority rule, Nelson Mandela used the day to urge South Africans to set aside their differences and to unite.
During his address at the funeral on Sunday, Jacob Zuma pledged to build on Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
“As your journey ends today, ours must continue in earnest… South Africa will continue to rise because we dare not fail you,” Jacob Zuma said.
Nelson Mandela’s body has been buried in a family plot, after political and religious leaders paid tribute to South Africa’s first black president at a state funeral service.
Graca Machel and President Jacob Zuma were present for the private, traditional Xhosa burial at Nelson Mandela’s ancestral home in Qunu.
Jacob Zuma had earlier told the larger funeral service that South Africans had to take his legacy forward.
Nelson Mandela died on December 5 at the age 95.
The last of 10 days of commemorations for Nelson Mandela began with his coffin being taken on a gun carriage from his home to a giant marquee where his portrait hung behind 95 candles – each representing a year of his life.
The coffin, draped in the South African flag, was placed beneath a lectern where speakers paid their tributes.
Some guests sang and danced to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life as the service began.
After the national anthem, the service heard from a family spokesman, Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima, who thanked the army medical team that had treated Nelson Mandela before he died.
African National Congress members, veterans of the fight against apartheid and foreign dignitaries – including several African presidents and the Prince of Wales – were among the guests.
Nelson Mandela’s body has been buried in a family plot in Qunu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a long-time friend of Nelson Mandela – was also there, as was queen talk-show +Oprah Winfrey.
While the service took place, a 21-gun salute sounded far away in Pretoria.
President Jacob Zuma, who was booed at last week’s stadium commemoration in Soweto, led the service in song before giving his funeral oration.
“Whilst the long walk to freedom has ended in the physical sense, our own journey continues,” he said.
An unexpected contribution came from Kenneth Kaunda, 89-year-old former president of Zambia, who lightened the tone of the proceedings by jogging to the stage.
He recounted failed appeals he had made to two South African leaders, John Vorster and PW Botha, for the release of Nelson Mandela and his ANC colleagues from prison.
As the political tributes overran, the organizers made an unsuccessful attempt to cut back the religious element of the service.
The master of ceremonies, ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, had earlier explained that burial had to take place at midday, in line with the traditions of Nelson Mandela’s Thembu tribe in Qunu.
“A person of Mandela’s stature is meant to be laid to rest when the sun is at its highest and when the shadow is at its shortest.”
As the state funeral drew to a close, military pallbearers carried the coffin to the grave site for the more private ceremony.
There, a chaplain spoke of Nelson Mandela achieving ultimate freedom at the end of a “truly long walk”.
Three helicopters trailing South African flags then flew over the scene followed by six jets. TV pictures of the grave site came to a close.
British entrepreneur Richard Branson, who attended the burial, said Desmond Tutu told mourners Nelson Mandela “doesn’t need a stone – he is in all of our hearts”.
The former archbishop was at the private ceremony despite conflicting statements on Friday about whether he had been invited.
According to tradition, the Thembu community was holding a private traditional Xhosa ceremony – including songs and poems about Nelson Mandela’s life and his achievements.
An ox was due to be slaughtered and a family elder was to stay near the coffin, to talk “to the body’s spirit”.
The burial brought to an end more than a week of mourning across South Africa.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to the FNB stadium for a public memorial on Tuesday, to hear President Barack Obama and other international leaders pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Over the next three days, at least 100,000 people saw the former president’s body lying in state in Pretoria. Thousands more had to be turned away.
On Saturday, Nelson Mandela’s coffin was flown from Waterkloof airbase in Pretoria to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.
A military guard of honor then took the casket on a 20-mile route to Qunu, where Nelson Mandela had wanted to spend his final days.