Nelson Mandela is to be accorded a state funeral on Sunday, December 15, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma announced.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died on Thursday, December 5, aged 95.
Hundreds are gathered outside Nelson Mandela’s home in Johannesburg’s northern suburb of Houghton, where he died.
They have been sharing memories of the former leader, recounting how they drew inspiration from his life.
A stage has been erected near the house, from where priests have led the crowd in prayers.
One of his grandsons. Mbuso Mandela, laid wreaths in his grandfather’s memory.
President Jacob Zuma visited the house in the early afternoon to pay his respects.
At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Jacob Zuma outlined a week of events to mourn the former president.
- Sunday, December 8, will be an official day of prayer and reflection with special religious services
- On Tuesday, December 10, a service of national mourning will be held at a 95,000-seater stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg
- Nelson Mandela’s body will lie in state from Wednesday to Friday in the capital, Pretoria
Next Sunday’s funeral will be held in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where Nelson Mandela grew up. South African Airways has announced that it will provide extra flights to Qunu for mourners.
Hundreds have attended an interfaith remembrance service outside Cape Town’s City Hall. The Johannesburg stock exchange suspended operations for five minutes on Friday as a mark of respect.
The White House has announced that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be travelling to South Africa next week to pay their respects and take part in memorial events.
Flags are flying at half-mast on government buildings in Washington DC, Paris and across South Africa. The European Union and world football body FIFA have also ordered their flags to be lowered.
Parliament in Pretoria is expected to hold a special joint session to reflect on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy.
Nelson Mandela died on Thursday, December 5, shortly before 21:00 local time.
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