MTHATHA, South Africa, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela's remains arrived at Mthatha Airport on Saturday and will be taken to his ancestral home for burial on Sunday at Qunu in the Eastern Cape region.
Mandela's body was received by full military honors. The king of abaThembu clan Buyelekhyua Dalindyebo was at the airport to receive Mandela's body, accompanied by government officials, Mandela's family members and representatives from the clan.
Among family members were Mandela's widow Graca Machel, granddaughter Ndileka Mandela and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela- Mandela.
Hundreds of people lined along York street arm to arm, singing and dancing as the plane carrying Mandela's body arrived. "Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela," people chanted, waving small South African flags.
The adjoining Nelson Mandela Drive was heavily guarded by armed soldiers.
Mandela's body will be moved to iNdlu eNkulu (great house) at Qunu, about 46 kilometers from Mthatha, and handed over to reverends. A public vigil will be held on Saturday night at the Walter Sisulu University's Nelson Mandela Drive campus.
A state funeral will be held at Qunu on Sunday, and after the state funeral, the abaThembu clan will receive the body to bury it according to royal protocol, during which an ox and sheep will be slaughtered.
Mandela's body arrived from the Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria, where a ceremony was held on Saturday morning, during which Mandela's body was handed over to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died of illness at his Johannesburg home on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.
Photos>>Preparation for Mandela's funeral underway in S. Africa
Photos>>Three-day body viewing of Mandela ends Friday in S. Africa
Mandela's body-viewing ceremony ends amid disappointment
PRETORIA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The three-day body viewing of late former South African President Nelson Mandela ended in Pretoria on Friday with over 100,000 people estimated to have paid homage to the anti-apartheid icon.
However, thousands failed to see Mandela's body due to the extremely high volumes of people queuing to bid him farewell at the Union Buildings. Full story