Before Nelson Mandela had been laid to rest, talk, inevitably, turned to his legacy. How would he be remembered: a benign, saintly figure, or, an unswerving revolutionary? For some, there was no ambiguity: he was one, or the other. But, for others, it wasn't contradictory that he embodied both traits: saint and revolutionary.
At the weekend the world watched in sadness as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in the lush green hills and valleys of Qunu, his childhood home... This time last year my sister Jacqui and I travelled there to try and discover what it was about this place that made Mandela the man he became and provided him with a framework for leadership from which he could draw forever.
It means biltong and boerewors braais, table mountain and tin-roofed townships, fears and forgiveness. It means when I was born, in the mid- 1980's into a country ravaged by states of emergency, unrest and uprising- I was a child born into uncertainty and chaos. Unknown to those at the time, it was the tail-end of Apartheid.
There were many contenders, but the contest for the act that best sanctified the memory of Nelson Mandela was won by the handshake of Barack Obama and Raul Castro. That two such men could, but for a moment, be so cordial and content with one another attests to how he was regarded by so many sides. The eulogies and the emotions expressed by South Africans of all colours exhibited how much Mandela did for his people.
With the recent loss of Nelson Mandela, South African found its voice - and during the memorial service, its silence - in Desmond Tutu. He was Mandela's ally through so many decades of struggle. He remains a hugely respected scourge of the world's wrongs, and irrepressible champion of the oppressed.
I wonder if it was like this 2,000 years ago. If it was, when Jesus died, Pontius Pilate would have appeared on Sky News moments after the cross was taken down and said "The world mourns today a man of great integrity. It was an honour to have known him, and even when I sentenced him to crucifixion, he showed great forgiveness, and that shows what a great figure he was."