Govt unveils further Madiba event details

Leaders from nearly 30 countries have already confirmed they’re attending various events.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government on Saturday said the leaders of nearly 30 countries have already confirmed they're attending events to mark the passing of former president Nelson Mandela over.

He died at his Johannesburg home surrounded by family on Thursday evening.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane says officials from 13 African states and 15 from other continents confirmed they will be sending high-profile delegations.

"The fact that international leaders are making their way to South Africa at such short notice reflects the special place Mandela holds in the hearts of people around the globe."

United States President Barack Obama and former presidents George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will attend with their wives, along with 26 congressmen.

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff will be accompanied for four former heads of state, presidents Jose Sarney, Fernando Collor de Mello, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula da Silva.

Government expects more confirmations over the coming hours and days.

Chabane also confirmed Tuesday's national memorial service at the FNB Stadium will begin at 11am and gates will open at 6am.

He says everyone is welcome to attend.

"This is an international event that will be attended by members of the public alongside national and international leaders. The president of the Republic of South Africa will address the official memorial service.

"The programme will also include tributes by heads of state from the various regions of the globe, the continent and representatives from regional organisations."

The minister said many venues used as fan parks during the 2010 Fifa World Cup will be used again to screen the memorial.

Some of the venues include Orlando Stadium, Dobsonville Stadium and Ellis Park.

Chabane says no private transport will be allowed and people will have to use special bus services.

He says the true spirit of South Africa has emerged since the statesman's death and the demonstrations of love and affection will go a long way towards shaping the way South Africans live and work in the future.

Chabane also provided further information on the three days when Mandela's remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Every day from 11 to 13 December, a procession will leave 1 Military Hospital at 7am.

Government has encouraged members of the public to form a guard of honour along the route in the mornings.

On Wednesday, only the Mandela family and VVIPs will view the body from 10am after which members of the public can file past the body from 12pm to 5.30pm.

On Thursday and Friday, the public will have access to casket from 8am to 5.30pm.

The official funeral will take place in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on 15 December.

Chabane says further details will be provided throughout the week, but pointed out that South African Airways has made provisions for extra flights to the province.

For an up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the various events, including information on transport, see EWN's special guide, Saying goodbye to Madiba: Event planner or the shorter guide, _ Mandela events: Brief information guide_.