Qunu villagers come out to welcome the body of Mandela back home - Exclusive photos for Yahoo News

Qunu villagers come out to welcome the body of Mandela back home - Exclusive photos for Yahoo News

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The body of Nelson Mandela arrived on Saturday at his ancestral home of Qunu in South Africa's Eastern Cape, where it was greeted by singing, dancing local residents ahead of the anti-apartheid leader's state funeral set for the following day.

As police and military helicopters buzzed overheard, the hearse carrying the remains of South Africa's first black president rolled with a police escort into the hamlet of scattered homes lying between green pastures.

Delighted residents broke into the South African national anthem as the cortege appeared on the road from Mthatha airport, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg.

Cheering crowds had lined parts of the road to pay their respects as the black hearse passed. (REUTERS)

Photographs by Charlie Shoemaker/Gettty Images for Yahoo News

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