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Military escorts Mandela's coffin across Qunu

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 01:12

Dec. 15 - Members of the South African military escort the remains of Nelson Mandela across the hills of his ancestral village before a funeral ceremony. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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A march and a gun-salute for Nelson Mandela. The body of the anti-apartheid hero was escorted in a military procession across the rolling hills of his ancestral village of Qunu, and brought to a marquee where a funeral service was to be held before he is buried. Police and soldiers have sealed off the centre of Qunu, lying 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg, and banished media to a field on top of a hill a kilometre from the cemetery. In accordance with the wishes of Mandela's family to keep the ceremony private, the only pictures of the burial of one of the 20th century's greatest figures will be via the SABC state broadcaster and an official outside photographer. In the skies above the village, fighter jets are enforcing a no-fly zone, both for the security of imminent high profile arrivals such as Britain's Prince Charles, and to prevent any prying eyes observing the rites from a passing helicopter. The huge marquee erected on a hillside for mourning family members, tribal elders, top government figures and official guests blocks the view of nearly all of the family plot where three of Mandela's children are already buried. The weather forecast for Sunday's open-air ceremony is for intermittent sunshine, a considerable improvement on the last few days of low cloud and driving rain - a sign of good fortune in Xhosa culture

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Military escorts Mandela's coffin across Qunu

Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 01:12