If you are in the mood to attend a memorial service for the Mother of your Nation, you’re in luck. Winnie Mandela’s memorial service today is open to the public.
Deputy President David Mabuza will today (Wednesday, 11 April) deliver the official address at the memorial service for the late freedom fighter, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on State Funerals, led by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing to update media on the state of readiness for the official memorial service.
“The official memorial will start at 11am and will include tributes from the Deputy President on behalf of government and family, colleagues and artists will render items in honour of the mother of the nation,” said Minister Dlamini-Zuma.
The public can also watch a live broadcast of the memorial’s proceedings on the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcorping Castration (SABC), as well as other news channels and radio stations. Those with access to the internet can live stream the memorial service.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that Madikizela-Mandela will receive a Special Official Funeral Category 1. This means that there will be elements of both military and ceremonial honours.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma reminded members of the public that condolence books are placed at the airports, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s Head Office in Tshwane, Parliament, Tuynhuys, Union Buildings and at the Department of Arts and Culture.
Mourners can also sign the condolence books in Brandfort in the Free State, Mbizana and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.
The funeral, which will also take place at Orlando Stadium, on Saturday is expected to get underway by 9am.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma announced that Namibian President Hage Geingob and United States civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson, are some of the dignitaries expected to pay their final respects at the funeral.
“We are encouraged by the dignified manner in which mourners have carried themselves in their tributes to the mother of our nation. What we have seen over the past days reflects the true spirit of South Africans celebrating one of our own.
“We urge everyone to continue to uphold the dignity of Mama Winnie and the values she stood for,” said Minister Dlamini-Zuma.
The period of mourning, as declared by the President, will end on Saturday evening when the struggle icon is laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery.
The Minister was accompanied by other IMC members including State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and the Deputy Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga.