Family marks end of mourning for Mandela, six months on

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - The family of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela marked six months since his death on Sunday with a traditional cleansing ceremony at the family home in Qunu.

The ceremony closed the mourning period, according to Zindzi, Mandela’s daughter from his second marriage with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, while local television reported that revellers slaughtered sheep and quaffed home-brewed beer.

The ceremony also included the burning of the black mourning garb worn by her mother and Mandela’s third wife Graca Machel, Zindzi Mandela said in a statement.

South Africa’s first black president died on Dec 5 at the age of 95 after a long illness, prompting a global outpouring of grief.

After a lavish state funeral attended by world leaders and celebrities, Mandela was buried beside his children at the modest family compound in his childhood village of Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

The traditional mourning period normally lasts 12 months in South Africa.