Qunu snubs traditional Mandela family ceremonies

Most people in the remote area are still angry after not being allowed to attend the funeral.

The Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Eastern Cape. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

QUNU, Eastern Cape - The village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape has snubbed the traditional ceremonies hosted by the Mandela family.

Most people in the remote area are still angry after not being allowed to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.

The former president died at his home in Houghton on 5 December last year after being treated by the military medical services for more than a year.

Mandela spent most of his childhood in Qunu.

Qunu Chief Nokwanele Balizulu says Nelson Mandela was a people's person and that he would have wanted villagers to attend his funeral.

Balizulu says she was invited to attend Madiba's burial, but in solidarity with locals, she decided not to go.

The official Mandela residence is a stone's throw away from the village, located near Mthatha.

Balizulu says despite the family sending a vehicle with a loudspeaker to notify locals of ceremonies, few people attended.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has thanked the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and all those involved in the organisation and execution of Madiba's funeral and lying in state.

Zuma was speaking at a medal ceremony to honour members that served during the 12 days of mourning for Madiba.

Members of the army, air force, navy and medical services were awarded the first ever Mandela medal at a special parade at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

Zuma says the SANDF has made the country proud.

"I'm really proud of my soldiers, we are all really proud of the SANDF, the spear and pride of the nation. I want to thank once more the leadership for sterling work done during our nation's bereavement."