Thousands gather for CT Mandela memorial

The function, which starts at 4pm on Wednesday, is titled Nelson Mandela: A Life Celebrated.

People from all walks of life waiting patiently in the queue at Cape Town stadium ahead of Nelson Mandela memorial on 11 December 2013. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Thousands of people are making their way to Cape Town Stadium ahead of a memorial event in honour of Nelson Mandela.

The function, which starts at 4pm on Wednesday, is titled Nelson Mandela: A Life Celebrated.

The celebration is expected to end at 11pm.

South Africa's first black president passed away at his home on Thursday night.

Many people are dressed in bright coloured clothing with many holding Mandela placards and South African flags.

Others are wearing ANC T-shirts and South African sport shirts.

The mood outside the Cape Town stadium is jovial.

On the stadium's pitch, dozens of white chairs have been neatly arranged near the stairs where dignitaries will be seated.

The stage itself is set and fitted with a white dome.

At least 53,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will see performances by Freshlyground, Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

There is still some confusion over whether international singer Annie Lennox will take to the stage.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Priya Reddy says while Lennox will be in attendance, it is still not confirmed whether she will actually perform.

Mayor Patricia de Lille, rugby legend Francois Pienaar, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman will address the crowd.

A choir will first perform followed by the singing of the national anthem.

Cape Town residents who didn't get their coupons can watch the event on big screens at the Grand Parade and Adderley Street in the Cape Town CBD.


City of Cape Town traffic services, South African Police Service officials and metro police have already been deployed to certain areas to keep crowds under control.

The city says road closures along the 'Walk of Remembrance' came into effect from 2pm this afternoon.

For a full update on this afternoon's road closures, click here.