The Straits Times
Published on Jun 27, 2014

Mandela's widow to resume public life after mourning 'best friend'


JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Nelson Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, on Friday announced she will resume her public life after completing a six-month mourning period for her "best friend".

Speaking for the first time about her loss, she said in a statement that the anti-apartheid icon's death on Dec 5 left her without her "best friend, beloved husband and guide".

The Mandela family last week performed a traditional cleansing ceremony to end the six-month mourning period at the family home in Qunu, the village where the statesman was buried on Dec 15 last year.

"I have been deeply touched and comforted by the affection shown towards my family and I since Madiba's illness through to the present moment," Ms Machel said in a statement, using Mandela's clan name by which he is affectionately known in his homeland.