"Tata Madiba in his early days would leave his house and walk around Qunu
and greet all the locals, but in his final days we couldn't even say goodbye."
And so this morning Madiba was laid to rest in the strange rolling landscape of the Eastern Cape with its distant vistas of faraway villages and of peaceful cattle grazing on a windblown sward. So many speeches. So many words.The great and the good jetted in from all over Africa, from all over the world, for specks of the magic dust that has fallen about his memory. And the people danced and the people sang. Earlier in the week, the odious Jacob Zuma was roundly booed and embarrassing Cameron lent into a "selfie" with President Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt - the prime minister of Denmark.
Twenty one years in captivity
You're so blind that you cannot see
You're so deaf that you cannot hear him
You're so dumb that you cannot speak
Free Nelson Mandela
Military helicopters flew over the burial site with the new South African flag beneath them - their rotors whirring as they used to do so ominously in the dead of night over Soweto or District Six on the outskirts of Cape Town. And Madiba was laid to rest in his home soil where, when the be-medalled soldiers, the marquees and the TV crews have gone, Nom Thetheli will perhaps take the opportunity to pay his own private respects to his great neighbour - "Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty,...free at last!"