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The year of Nelson Mandela got off to a cranky start when a wreath that was supposed to be laid at his grave in Qunu by the ANC's top six leadership didn't get laid. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.

It was supposed to have been simple. By 8am on Thursday morning, journalists and ANC leaders would gather around former president Nelson Mandela's grave at its private gravesite by his residence in Qunu to lay wreaths. It's part of the ANC's programme in the run-up to its birthday rally on Saturday in the province, and wreaths have already been laid (without any difficulties) by the graves of a number of former party presidents in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mandela is, however, special, because this year he would have been 100 and the ANC is set to celebrate him all year like they did Oliver Reginald Tambo and party unity the year before.

He's also the most recently-deceased of the party presidents.

There was a complication, however. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa's chopper rolling in at more than half an hour after the agreed time wasn't really one of the problems.

First, journalists were told they're not allowed to enter the property, but would have to wait...