IN MOURNING: A sombre Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graça Machel, are seen at the funeral of his favourite sister, Notancu Mabel Timakwe, 78, who succumbed to asthma on October 14, 2002.
Family and her church congregation gathered at the low key funeral to pay their last respects on October 22, 2009. Timakwe was laid to rest beside her husband in the Timakwe family graveyard in Xhwili village, about 15km from Qunu, the Mandela’s village. She had eight children, 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In the Xhosa tradition, funeral-goers wash their hands on returning from the graveside as symbolic cleansing.