CT: Grand Parade to screen memorial

Four big screens are being set up in the Grand Parade area to broadcast the memorial service.

The city says the memorial at the Grand Parade will give Capetonians a chance to say goodbye. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - City of Cape Town officials say the Mother City's tribute to Tata Madiba will be an opportunity for Capetonians to pay their last respects.

Spokesperson for the city Priya Reddy says Capetonians will come together, mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Madiba.

"Cape Town has always had such a special relationship with Madiba. He was on Robben Island for so many years and then he was at the Victor Verster prison. He gave his first speech from the balcony of the City Hall and the Grand Parade is such a special place now. Because of that, we expect people to come out in their numbers, lay their wreaths and support each other in this difficult time."

The memorial will be broadcasted live to the public at the Grand Parade.

Four screens are being set up in the area with two screens erected in front of City Hall while another on the corner of Darling and lower Plein Street, and a fourth screen will be set up on the corner of Adderly and Longmarket Streets.

Meanwhile, the Mother City is also preparing for an event on Wednesday at the Cape Town Stadium.

Around 50,000 people are expected to attend the commemorative event, 'Nelson Mandela: A life celebrated'.

Local groups like Freshly Ground and Ladysmith Black Mambazo as well as a number of high-profile individuals are expected to entertain the crowd.

One major international artist, who is yet to be confirmed, may also be performing.


Meanwhile, at the official Pink Memorial for Nelson Mandela in Greenpoint on Monday night, activist Zackie Achmat said Mandela was prepared to struggle for everyone to be free from all forms of domination.

Achmat and organisers of the event said they needed to pay their respects to Madiba for what he has done for gay people living in South Africa.

An emotional Achmat said Madiba was a revolutionary.

"We have many people who say Madiba was a man of peace or he was a Ghandi. He was not. He was a revolutionary who believed in the right of his people to defend themselves when attacked."

He said South Africans should remember Mandela didn't support violence, but the right to liberate and defend themselves.

Under Madiba's leadership South Africa became the first country to protect sexual minorities from discrimination in its Constitution.

He said Mandela was a selfless human being, who not only made life easier for the gay community but everyone living in South Africa.