The South African government has rolled out a packed official programme that will guide the country through the 10 days of mourning declared by President Jacob Zuma after the death of Nelson Mandela on the 5th of December 2013.
The minister in the presidency Collins Chabane presented the programme to see through official processions to the day Mandela is laid to rest in his birth village Qunu in the Eastern Cape Province on the 15th of December 2013.
The programme includes a special tributary joint sitting of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on Monday.
The joint sitting, which brings together Members of Parliament from various parties in the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, will take place on Monday, 9 December at 14:00.
Briefing the media on Saturday, the 7th of December Chabane said “We have witnessed extraordinary scenes of support and celebration of the life of Madiba at various centres around South Africa and the world. We have witnessed overwhelming responses at our missions abroad and domestically. We greatly appreciate these demonstrations of humanity and solidarity.”
He then outlined government-managed events in which members of the public are encouraged to participate. “This will be supplemented by hundreds of events that will take place in provinces and in communities.”
He noted that the briefing is the first in a series of updates that will be given by the Inter-Ministerial Committee responsible for this historic, unprecedented State Funeral.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee represents Cabinet’s oversight over and coordination of a range of processes whose day-to-day management will be led by the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) of South Africa’s security forces.
It is the norm that at events of this magnitude and importance, the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, Metro Police, intelligence agencies and representatives of various departments and entities jointly plan operations and marshal resources.
Throughout this process, government will be in close contact with the Mandela family to ensure that all events conform to the family’s wishes and are culturally compliant.
“We now wish to turn to the specifics of the days ahead.
Today, Saturday 7 December 2013: preparing for lying-in-state
As we speak today, President Mandela’s body is being prepared by the Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force to lie in state at the Union Buildings from Wednesday, 11 December, to Friday, 13 December.
While this is happening, work is underway at critical venues such as the Union Buildings; FNB Stadium in Johannesburg; Mthatha and Qunu in the Eastern Cape, and at ports of entry to prepare for the events related to the State Funeral.
Tomorrow, Sunday 8 December 2013: Day of prayer and reflection
Government reiterates the call by President Jacob Zuma for the nation to use tomorrow as a national day of prayer and reflection in places of worship, homes and communities to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and the legacy he has left.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013: Official memorial service
This is the day on which an official memorial service at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, will be attended by members of the public, VIPs and VVIPs.
This will give ordinary people and public leaders an opportunity to celebrate Madiba’s life collectively.
Government is requesting provincial authorities to coordinate provincial activities and help secure transport for mourners wishing to attend the memorial service.
This event will be attended by a number of visiting Heads of State and Government. Government is in the process of briefing the diplomatic corps to facilitate the attendance of visiting leaders.
Government wish to announce that the following roads and interchanges near the venue will be closed and controlled by law enforcement agencies:
- N1 and Rand Show Road
- N1 and Soweto Highway
- N1 and 17
- N1 and Nasrec offramp
- Greenwood Rd and Booysens Reserve, and
- Nasrec and Main Reef Roads
We request mourners to give the organising authorities their fullest cooperation, as we endeavour to ensure that the memorial service and other events are dignified, befitting for Madiba.
Further details will be provided as they become available.
Wednesday, 11 December to Friday 13 December: Lying-in-state
South Africans and selected international visitors and guests will be able to view President Mandela’s remains at the Union Buildings for three days from Wednesday, 11 December.
President Mandela’s remains will be transported daily between 1 Military Hospital, Thaba Tshwane, and the Union Buildings.
Details of this route and times will be provided in due course. Government invites mourners to line this route and form a public guard of honour for Tata Madiba when the remains are transported.
Again, we call on members of the public to cooperate with the authorities to ensure that this event is dignified and secure.
Away from the memorial route, members of the public wishing to pay their final respects will be shuttled to the Union Buildings from two central venues in Tshwane that will be announced in due course.
Only mourners who report to these venues will be allowed to visit the Union Buildings and view the remains.
Mourners are advised that cameras, including cellphones wil not be allowed at the Union Buildings. Mourners are advised not to bring cameras and cellphones in their possession.
Saturday 14 December 2013: Focus on the Eastern Cape
On Saturday, 14 December, the former President’s remains will be transported to the Eastern Cape from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria, where the ruling party will bid Madiba farewell.
Also on this day, a procession will take place from Mthatha to Qunu where the Thembu community will conduct a traditional ceremony.
Sunday, 15 December 2013: State Funeral, Qunu
On Sunday, 15 December, a funeral service and interment ceremony will take place at President Mandela’s home and final resting place at Qunu in the Eastern Cape.”