Nelson Mandela started his final journey today as his body was taken from his home in a coffin draped in the South African flag he loved so ardently.
Mourners have gathered to dance and sing songs of freedom outside his home as the world celebrated the life of the adored statesman who brought peace and equality to his country and died last night aged 95.
His beloved country has started an expected ten days of mourning, with flags flying at half mast before ‘Madiba’ or ‘Tata’ as he was devotedly called, is taken to lie in state for three days in the capital Pretoria.
Imprisoned for 27 years before becoming South Africa’s first black president, his courage in the face of persecution made him the most potent symbol of the struggle against apartheid, and an inspiration to millions in his country and billions beyond.
Next Saturday a state funeral will be held and he will be buried in the Eastern Cape village of Quino, where he grew up, which is expected to be attended by world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and will be the biggest funeral Africa, and perhaps the world will have ever seen.