By Alexander Bolton - 12/14/13 02:36 PM EST
The body of former South African president Nelson Mandela arrived Saturday at his rural hometown of Qunu for burial Sunday.
The day’s journey began at an air base in the nation’s capital, from where Mandela was flown aboard a military plane to Mthatha airport, where his casket was received by a military guard. Graca Machel, Mandela’s widow, and former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela tearfully witnessed the transfer.
A convey took him the final 32 kilometers to Qunu along a road thronged with mourners who had traveled for hours to pay their final respects, according to the AP.
His body lay in state this past week in Pretoria.
The state funeral, which will be attended by Britain’s Prince Charles, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, will take place Sunday under tight security, according to media reports.