Nightly News   |  December 14, 2013

Nelson Mandela to be laid to rest Sunday

Preparations continue for the final act of remembering Nelson Mandela, laying the former South African president to rest. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>>> south africa and the world will say a final farewell to nelson mandela tomorrow. today his body arrived at the village where he grew up in eastern south africa . our chief foreign correspondent richard engel was there today and has our report.

>> reporter: nelson mandela finally came home, flown to the village of qunu , driven to the family compound in what remains a rural hamlet just like it was when mandela was a child here. his old friend and neighbor p this 92-year-old, watched the memorial on television. he told us he remembers mandela for his generosity. he once paid my son's medical bills and asked nothing in return, he said. qunu is a place where acts of kindness aren't forgotten. most people here are related to mandela . in his memoir "long walk to freedom," mandela wrote his fondest memories of childhood are from here. he grew up poor in a small house made of mud and thatch. as a small boy, he spent his time hunting birds with slingshots and stick fighting with other children. as an old man, he said he wanted to be buried in the village he loved so much. mandela will be buried in a private service here on sunday. 4500 people were invited, but everyone seemed to be talking about one man who originally was not. nobel laureate archbishop desmond tutu , mandela 's long-time partner in the anti-apartheid struggle. he's now a critic of mandela 's party, and it controls the guest list. outrage caused the party to change course and tutu now says he will attend. a hint of politics, even at the end for mandela . a hero to millions, who never forget where he came from. richard engel , nbc news, qunu , south