SA Religious Forum lambasts DA for failed Madikizela-Mandela memorial

Thursday's memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the Castle of Good Hope has been marred by organisational issues and an alleged lack of help from the City of Cape Town.

The programme for the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela memorial service at the Cape of Good Hope in Cape Town on 12 April 2018. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Religious Forum has slammed the Democratic Alliance for not helping to organise a memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The group is holding a special event in memory of the struggle icon at the Castle of Good Hope.

Thursday's memorial service for Madikizela-Mandela at the Castle of Good Hope has been marred by organisational issues and an alleged lack of help from the City of Cape Town.

The names of a variety of speakers from religious leaders to politicians are on the packed programme, including Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, but she's not there.

Chairperson of the forum Bishop Templeton Mbekwa, says the municipality and the Western Cape premier Helen Zille didn't want to help with the organising of the event.

Mbekwa claims 7,000 people were expected at Thursday's event, but there's barely 100 guests, excluding the speakers and organisers.

“We are so disappointed to the government of the DA who made it clear that they’ve got nothing to do with umama Winnie Mandela.”

Organisers claim De Lille's office was supposed to help with logistical arrangements like catering, but "dropped them" at the last minute.

De Lille says she could not attend the memorial service due to "prior commitments."

But De Lille says her office was asked for assistance with transportation and other logistics two days before the event and this was too short notice for the necessary procurement process, which usually takes a week.

“Mayor Patricia de Lille did receive an invitation did receive an invitation from the religious forum to attend a memorial event at the Castle of Good Hope but unfortunately she could not attend due to prior commitments. The mayor’s office communicated this with the organisation through its chairperson Bishop Mbekwa.”