President Jacob Zuma has announced that Mandela is to be buried during a state funeral in his rural home town of Qunu on Sunday, Dec. 15. A memorial service is to be held on Tuesday in FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Mandela's last public appearance was at the same stadium in 2010 for the closing ceremony of the soccer World Cup.
Mandela's body will then lie in state in Pretoria for three days. Sunday marks a national day of prayer and reflection.
"We call upon all our people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and in their homes for prayer services and meditation, reflecting on the life of Madiba and his contribution to our country and the world," Zuma said, using Mandela's clan name.
In a church service in Cape Town, Tutu, who like Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, stated
"All of us here in many ways amazed the world, a world that was expecting us to be devastated by a racial conflagration," Tutu said. He recalled how Mandela helped unite South Africa as it dismantled apartheid, the cruel system of white minority rule, and prepared for all-race elections in 1994. In those elections, Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison, became South Africa's first black president.
"God, thank you for the gift of Madiba," said Tutu in his closing his prayer.
In Mandela's hometown of Qunu in the wide-open spaces of the Eastern Cape province, relatives consoled each other as they mourned the death of South Africa's most famous citizen.
Mandela was a "very human person" with a sense of humor who took interest in people around him, said F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last apartheid-era president. The two men negotiated the end of apartheid, finding common cause in often tense circumstances, and shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Summarizing Mandela's legacy, de Klerk paraphrased Mandela's own words on eNCA television: "Never and never again should there be in South Africa the suppression of anyone by another."
On Vilakazi Street in Soweto, 26-year-old Vathiswa Nongogo brought her nearly 3-year-old daughter Konwabo to the celebratory atmosphere. The crowd was mostly black, but mourners both white and black said Mandela transcended race.
"The feeling is genuinely the same among the white people and the colors," said Nongogo, who is black. "And the political division doesn't appear to exist today."
The liberation struggle icon's grandson, Mandla Mandela, said he is strengthened by the knowledge that his grandfather is finally at rest.
"All that I can do is thank God that I had a grandfather who loved and guided all of us in the family," Mandla Mandela said in a statement. "The best lesson that he taught all of us was the need for us to be prepared to be of service to our people."
Helen Zille, leader of South Africa's official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and premier of the Western Cape, the only province not controlled by the African National Congress party, commented: "We all belong to the South African family — and we owe that sense of belonging to Madiba. That is his legacy."
Culled from: Huffington Post