After more than a week of mourning throughout South Africa, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday in his hometown of Qunu. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA - The man called the father of modern South Africa and its greatest son was buried in his hometown of Qunu Sunday before a crowd of more than 4,000 mourners.
"It is the end of 95 glorious years of a freedom fighter, a dedicated and humble servant of the people of South Africa," said South African President Jacob Zuma.
It was a spiritual and colorful sendoff for the former South African president and political prisoner.
"A very important prisoner, a very important philosopher, a very important pragmatist, a very important president," said one person who spoke at the service.
Attendees at the service included Oprah Winfrey and Prince Charles.
Mandela's grandchildren said that his impact on South Africa and beyond cannot be measured.
"He was a true servant of the people," said Nandi Mandela, Nelson Mandela's granddaugther. "His mission in life was to make the lives of the underprivileged better."
"It is through Mandela that the world cast its eyes on South Africa and took notice of the severe and organized repression of black South Africans," said Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson. "Yet it is also through Mandela that the world would learn the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness."
Ahmed Kathrada, a friend who was imprisoned alongside Mandela on Robben Island for a quarter century, recalled those virtues and said that through them, Mandela helped bring dignity and democracy to his home country.
"We are deeply grateful that dignity has been restored to all South Africans," Kathrada said.
They will do so still, even after his passing.
"One of our own has, during his lifetime, and now, in your death, united the people of South Africa and the entire world on a scale never before experienced in history," Kathrada said.
"Madiba is going home, and his ideas will continue to inspire us," said Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress.