The South Africa’s government has released an updated schedule of official observances in honor of Nelson Mandela, culminating in a state funeral a week from Sunday.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane released the new details and said that the government would work closely with Nelson Mandela’s family “to ensure that all events conform to the family’s wishes and are culturally compliant”.
The official events honoring Mandela begin on Sunday, December 8, when the government will observe a national day of prayer and reflection “in which South Africans will celebrate the life of Mandela and his legacy in places of worship, homes and communities”, Collins Chabane said.
On Tuesday, December 10, an official memorial service for Nelson Mandela will be held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, also known as the Soccer City stadium, the site of the 2010 World Cup final. The ceremony will be attended by members of the public and by a number of visiting heads of state and government, though Collins Chabane said the list of world leaders that would attend had not yet been finalized.
Nelson Mandela’s body will lie in state in an open casket at the Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African government, from Wednesday through Friday, with viewing open to “South Africans and selected international visitors and guests”, Collins Chabane said.
He also said Nelson Mandela’s remains would be transported daily between a nearby military hospital and the Union Buildings. South Africans wishing to view the late president’s remains will be shuttled from two yet-to-be named locations to the Unions Building.
On Saturday, December 14, Nelson Mandela’s body will be moved to the Eastern Cape province, where members of the ruling African National Congress party will bid him farewell. Later, a procession will take place from Mthatha to Qunu, where the Thembu community, of which Nelson Mandela was a member, will conduct a traditional ceremony.
On Sunday, December 15, a funeral service and interment ceremony will take place at Nelson Mandela’s home and final resting place at Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
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