Mandela’s native village becomes pilgrimage site

Cape Town, Jan 1: Late former South African president Nelson Mandela’s village is becoming a pilgrimage site, authorities said Wednesday.

Since Mandela’s death, more and more visitors have come to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Eastern Cape, where Mandela spent much of his childhood, Xinhua quoted a museum official as saying.

Mandela, who died of illness in Johannesburg Dec 5 at the age of 95, was laid to rest in Qunu 10 days after his demise.

Last year, two or three groups visited the Nelson Mandela Museum a day, but over the past two weeks this number has increased to between 15 and 20, museum spokesperson Nokuzola Tetani said in a statement.

Historically important sites associated with Mandela have become attractions for visitors both local and international, according to Tetani.

Such sites included the sliding stone where Mandela used to play, and the ruins of his primary school.

But Mandela’s grave is not open to the public. At present, visitors can only see it from a nearby hill.

IANS