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Death and state funeral of Nelson Mandela facts for kids

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Nelson Mandela-2008 cropped
President Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa surrounded by his family after a prolonged lung infection. His death was announced by President Jacob Zuma. Reactions from governments, international organizations, and notable individuals, have gained worldwide media coverage.


His death brought many reactions such as from, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, David Cameron, Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth, Harry Reid, Rihanna, Bashar al-Assad, José Mujica, Raul Castro, Nicolás Maduro, Prince William, and F. W. de Klerk.

Official funeral events

Obama Madiba Memorial
US President Barack Obama delivers his speech at Mandela's state memorial service
Qunu Landscape
Qunu village in the Eastern Cape, where Mandela's funeral will be held on 15 December 2013

The South African government announced a period of 10 days of national mourning ending with the state funeral on 15 December 2013. All flags on government buildings will be flown at half-mast for the duration of this period.

On 9 December, it was confirmed that at least 80 foreign heads of state and government would travel to South Africa to attend events.

Other notable guests include the President of the United States and three former presidents of the United States; the President of India; the Prime Minister of Italy; the Vice President of China; the President of Brazil; the President of France; the President of Ireland; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; the President of Germany; the Prime Minister of Australia; two former Governors General of Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, and three former Prime Ministers of Canada; the Prime Minister of Jordan; and the President of Afghanistan. Royal dignitaries attending include, the King of the Netherlands, the King of Belgium, the Prince of Wales, the Prince of Asturias, the Crown Prince of Denmark, the Crown Princess of Sweden, the Crown Prince of Norway, the Crown Prince of Japan, and the Queen Rania of Jordan.

Queen Elizabeth II will honor Mandela with a thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey in early 2014.

Day of prayer

The South African government declared Sunday, 8 December 2013 to be observed as a national day of prayer and reflection.

We call upon all our people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and in their homes for prayer services and meditation, reflecting on the life of Madiba and his contribution to our country and the world.

Jacob Zuma, 6 December 2013

Lying in state

Mandela's body layed in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from 11 to 13 December 2013.

State funeral, Qunu

The state funeral was held on 15 December 2013 in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. He was later buried there on the same day.

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