Pretoria, Dec 12: If the funeral ceremony saw hundreds gathered at the Soweto stadium, the streets of Pretoria witnessed thousands following the casket of their 'Father' Nelson Mandela yesterday. Belonging to all social and economic classes, people belonged to different age groups too, some too young to remember the revolting young and dynamic Madiba during the Anti-apartheid movement.
But, there were others, much older and remembering the most powerful leaders of the 20th century. In fact, many of them remembered taking part in the revolution with him and going to jail. Their Madiba's last journey was a mix of sorrow and celebration of a life that lived its worth. "Viva Nelson Mandela, viva" was the song that circled the air in the streets as Madiba's casket was temporarily laid at the austere ampitheatre of the Union Buildings.
A temporary structure was erected, under a white canopy with chandeliers and decorated with giant bouquets of lilies. Mandela's grandson and heir Mandla was there with him throughout. Four junior naval officers in brilliant white uniforms stood guard with swords pointing downward. Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela, along with other family members, paid her respects to him.
Mandela was missed in India too
Meanwhile, in the wake of another revolution in India for the 'Jan Lokpal' Bill, Anna Hazare entered his third day of fasting at Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra. Anna began his fast after paying tribute to a wax statue of Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel pays her respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
People sing as they queue to catch a bus for the viewing of former South African president Nelson Mandela's body in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec.11, 2013. The body of Nelson Mandela is being taken in procession to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where it will lie in state for three days. Each morning his remains will be transported from the mortuary to the government buildings.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London in this image still image taken from video on Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was only being polite when he posed for a ``selfie'' photo at Nelson Mandela's memorial service deflecting complaints that he was being disrespectful during the occasion.
Social activist Anna Hazare pays floral tribute at wax statue of Nelson Mandela during the second day of his indefinite hunger strike for Jan Lokpal Bill, at his village in Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district on Wednesday.
Social activist Anna Hazare during the second day of his indefinite hunger strike for Jan Lokpal Bill, at his village in Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district on Wednesday. Also seen in the picture is wax statue of Nelson Mandela which was unveiled by Hazare.