Daughtrey reports back on his trip to Nelson Mandela’s funeral

Nayaba Arinde | 12/26/2013, 11:28 a.m.
With much ceremony, and with Winnie Madizikela-Mandela and Graça Mandela consoling each other in a moving tribute to the late ...
Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry Leroy Applin

As the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Prince Charles and billionaire businessman Richard Branson sat in the audience, Daughtry said, “I was honored to have had my name called in the assemblage of the
world’s highest officeholders and world-renowned dignitaries by
Ramaphosa, recognizing me for my anti-apartheid work. One of the reasons I had come to this occasion was to represent the people who really were in the vanguard of the Free South Africa/Free Mandela Movement. They have sacrificed so much, and yet their names and contributions aren’t likely to be remembered.”

Daughtry recalled how as South African honor guards from the army, navy and air force marched in formation, the funeral party walked to the gravesite with a 21-gun salute while two squadrons of jet planes and helicopters took over the skies.

After the military completed their pomp and ceremony, Daughtry said that he went to the gravesite along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and 15 South African ministers to perform the final funeral rituals.

“I was standing at the gravesite of a man who had risen from this small village not far away to become the president of the world. He had brought back to this humble village, with dotted farmlands and small houses, the world’s movers and shakers. This man, whose name it seems that I have been calling for so many years of my 55 years of ministry and whose freedom and rise to the presidency of South Africa I had played some small role in, as I and others led the Free South Africa/Free Nelson Mandela Movement,” said Daughtry.

“And now, here I stood, participating in the final ceremony. It was as though we had journeyed together and I had been summoned to say farewell at the end of his journey. I, among a select few, was here to witness and be a part of one of the greatest moments in history.”

This weekend, Daughtry recounted on his experience through his words and on film at his House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn. There was a discussion, and speakers included Karen Smith Daughtry, founder and President of Sisters Against South African Apartheid; Brooklyn Borough President-elect Eric Adams, who provided security at the church when Winnie Mandela visited; Assemblywoman Inez Barron; and Councilman Charles Barron.