Jacob Zuma calls for preserving Nelson Mandela's legacy, ideals

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SummaryJacob Zuma today pledged to fulfil Nelson Mandela's ideal of ridding South Africa of poverty, crime and violence

President Jacob Zuma today pledged to fulfil Nelson Mandela's ideal of ridding South Africa of poverty, crime and violence while exhorting people to perpetuate the legacy of the anti-apartheid icon.

Zuma was speaking at the funeral service for Mandela, who was buried at his ancestral home here this morning to bring to a close ten days of mourning in which millions of people across the country paid their respects to the departed leader.

This included more than a million who lined up for hours over three days to file past Mandela's body as he lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in the amphitheatre which was named after him last week as a mark of respect, even as tens of thousands more had to be turned away.

With restricted access to facilities in the rural area, only about 4,500 people were allowed at the service and only about a tenth of those at the actual burial site.

Among them were several heads of state or their representatives, including Britain's Prince Charles.

Most heads of state opted to attend the official memorial service on Tuesday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, where over 80,000 people braved incessant pouring rain to join 91 world leaders, including President Pranab Mukherjee and his US counterpart Barack Obama in a tribute to Mandela.

The funeral service, as was the case with other memorial services in the past week everywhere, was marked with celebration as well as mourning by various speakers.

Mandela died on December 5 at the age of 95 after a protracted illness.

"One thing we can assure you today, Tata (father), as you take your final steps, is that South Africa will continue to rise," Zuma promised as he made his pledge.

"Your binding revolutionary spirit will remain binding on us to not rest until the poor and the working class have truly benefited from the material fruits of freedom and democracy which you fought for."

"Today we undertake to take forward the promotion of an improved quality of life for all. We commit to work more intensively to deal a decisive blow against the persisting poverty, unemployment and inequality."

"We pledge to take your vision forward for good schools and hospitals, quality housing and utilities, decent jobs and working conditions as well as efficient and accountable public service," Zuma said to loud applause.

"In doing all this and more, we will be able to complete this country's transformation into a global force

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