Mandela's body arrives in Mthatha

The C-130 military aircraft carrying Mandela's remains has arrived at Mthatha Airport.

A plane carrying the body of Nelson Mandela arrives at the Mthatha Airport in the Eastern Cape on 14 December 2013 ahead of his official state funeral on 15 December. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

MTHATHA - The military aircraft carrying former president Nelson Mandela's body has landed at Mthatha Airport ahead of his official state funeral in Qunu tomorrow.

The South African National Defence Force will form a guard of honour once the coffin is taken off the C-130 aircraft.

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and elders from the clan are waiting to welcome Mandela home.

Mandela family members, along with several dignitaries, are seated near the entrance of Mthatha airport arrivals hall.

Nelson Mandela's family await the arrival of Nelson Mandela's remains at Mthatha Airport on 14 December 2013. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

A special ceremony is planned to received Madiba's body by the military and members of his family.

A procession will then accompany Mandela's remains to his hometown and final resting place in Qunu, a small village around 36 km away from Mthatha.

Thousands of people have gathered along the route from Mthatha to Qunu.

Police are stationed across the route.