Details on state funeral released

Government has revealed the full schedule and other details for the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela’s wife Graça Machel (R) and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela leaving Mthatha Airport after the arrival of his body, 14 December 2013. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has outlined the order of events, road closures and other details for Sunday's state funeral for Nelson Mandela.

Madiba died on Thursday last week at the age of 95 after a long battle with a recurring lung infection.

Since the news broke, the world has seen events on a massive scale held in honour of the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

But Sunday is the final event and will see Madiba laid to rest in his childhood village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

On Saturday, his body was transported by military aircraft from Waterkloof Air Force Base to Mthatha Airport.

From there, a procession travelled to the small village, with hundreds of people lining the route to pay their final respects.

ORDER OF EVENTS

All guests and delegates have been asked to be at the main marquee on the family farm in Qunu by 7am.

A park and ride shuttle service for people accredited to attend the funeral will start from the Walter Sisulu University Zamukulungisa Campus at 5am.

Guests must use this shuttle service, as no vehicles whatsoever will be admitted to the Qunu area.

The main funeral programme starts at 8am and ends at 10am.

At 10am, close family members and few invited delegates of the family move to the burial site.

The rest of the guests will remain in the marquee.

The burial ceremony will end at 12pm.

Buses for guests and delegates will depart to East London airport from 4pm.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane on Saturday urged the public to make use of public viewing areas to be part of tomorrow's private ceremony.

"With regard to the public mourning and tribute areas: broadcast viewing areas will be available around the country. We urge the public to use those areas closest to them to manage traffic flow and logistics around the areas."

In Cape Town, the city is offering free transport to the Grand Parade.

ROAD CLOSURES

Road closures are already in effect at the following places:

  • When travelling to Mthatha from Kokstad/Durban, at the N2 Tsolo Junction traffic will be diverted to the R396 to Maclear.

  • In Mthatha at the Shell Ultra City, traffic will also be diverted to the R61.

  • When travelling from East London to Mthatha, traffic on the N2 at Ndabakazi will be diverted to Tsomo onto the R61. Traffic at Idutywa on the N2 will be diverted to Engcobo on to the R61.

  • Mthatha is still accessible via the R61, but we advise commuters not to travel to Mthatha unless absolutely necessary.

  • Upon arrival at the Mandela family farm, rituals will again be conducted and the body of the former President will be handed to the ruling party. Following further rituals, the body will be presented to the Mandela family.

  • A night vigil by the ruling party at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha on Saturday. Leadership of the ruling party and government will participate in this event.

  • Park and ride facilities are available at Walter Sisulu University until Tuesday 17 December 2013. No vehicles whatsoever will be allowed into the area around Qunu Village.