© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Since the December 5, 2013 announcement of Nelson Mandela’s death, South Africans have been flocking to the Mandela family home in the upscale Houghton neighbourhood of Johannesburg to pay their respects to the country’s first black president.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Thousands of flowers, candles and notes were deposited at makeshift memorials for Mandela.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Crowds also gathered outside his old home in Orlando West, Soweto, where he once lived with his wife, Winnie. The squat brick building now houses a museum and is a popular tourist destination.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Sunday, December 8, 2013 was a day of prayer and reflection with Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish religious leaders bringing together their congregations in thanksgiving prayers for the departed leader.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Braving the torrential rain, tens of thousands of people gathered at Johannesburg’s Soccer Stadium on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, for a memorial service.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

World leaders, including French President François Hollande and Cuban leader Raul Castro, attended the event.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

US President Barack Obama was greeted by huge cheers as he delivered a rousing tribute, describing Mandela as “a giant of history”.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

December 11, 12 and 13: Mandela’s body lay in state at the Union Buildings in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria. Crowds lined the route as Mandela’s flag-draped coffin made its way through the city streets.

© AFP / STRINGER

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the Union Buildings to see Mandela’s open casket, waiting hours to pay respect to their beloved Madiba.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

On December 14, the coffin was flown to Mandela’s childhood home in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape region, from Pretoria on a C130 military aircraft, escorted by two fighter jets.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

The burial took place the next day.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

South Africans lined the roads in the rural region to pay their respects as the cortege made its way from the Mthatha Airport.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24l

The burial was a very private affair in accordance with Thembu traditions. Mandela’s father was a nobleman from the Madiba clan of kings of the Thembu nation.

© Sarah LEDUC / FRANCE 24

Five thousand guests attended the private ceremony while others watched the proceedings on giant TV screens.

Ten days of mourning
Nelson Mandela