Thousands expected to attend Madikizela-Mandela memorial in Soweto
Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says road closures, shuttle services and overflow venues are just some of the plans made to ensure that everyone attending get to pay their respects comfortably.
JOHANNESBURG – Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says government has made provision for large numbers of people attending late stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s national memorial at the Orlando Stadium today.
Dlamini Zuma says road closures, shuttle services and overflow venues are just some of the plans made to ensure that everyone attending get to pay their respects comfortably.
She says among other international dignitaries, two heads of state had already confirmed their attendance.
Dlamini Zuma says the government is pleased with the way organisations across the world have been holding memorials in honour of Madikizela-Mandela.
In keeping with the spirit of the memorial, Dlamini Zuma says shuttles will be provided to the public from the Nasrec train station to the Orlando Stadium between 4am and 9am.
For those who won’t make it to the venue, she says provisions for live streaming services have been made.
“South Africans who are unable to come to the stadium will also be able to follow proceedings on television and radio. The memorial and funeral services will be broadcast live.”
She says the service is expected to begin at 11am this morning and will be addressed by Deputy President David Mabuza.
Thousands of South Africans are expected to fill Orlando Stadium for government's official remembrance service for Madikizela-Mandela.
The woman regarded by most as the mother of the nation lived not too far from the stadium in Soweto.
Madikizela-Mandela's love for the community has been one of the things that she has been praised for since her passing last Monday.
Now, several roads around the stadium have already been closed to traffic in the lead up to that memorial service.
No cars are being allowed into the area public transport is the only means to access the stadium.
The JMPD's Wayne Minnaar says: “All motorists will have to go the Nasrec Expo Centre. There they can park their vehicles and then get on a shuttle and be ferried to the memorial service and then again in the afternoon be taken back to their cars at the Expo Centre.”
At the same time, buses have already started dropping people off at the stadium where Mabuza is expected to deliver the keynote address to those gathered.
About 20 ANC supporters, most of them women, are already singing and dancing.
One of the women says she came early not only because she wants the best seat but also because she loved Madikizela-Mandela.
“The reason for us to come here early is because we don’t want stampede. We’re here to commemorate Mama Winnie’s last day, to remember her as our mother and as the stalwart of the ANC and everything that she has done for us.”