Preparations are underway at the Fourways Memorial Park, in the north of Johannesburg, where Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be buried on Saturday.
The struggle icon passed away last week at the age of 81. Madikizela-Mandela will be buried in the Mandela family estate section.
The memorial park has not put a specific number on the mourners expected on the day of burial. But family members and high-profile dignitaries will be allowed at the gravesite.
The Chaplain-General of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), Brigadier General Monwabisi Jamangile, explains: “ This is the place where the most important military honours will be practiced and that is where close family will be, the chief mourners, the chief military mourner, the chief of defence and the commander in chief. That is where the pall bearers will carry the remains and bearers will pay their last respects. The chaplain general will conduct the final spiritual moral support service. We’ve come here to rehearse, inspect and appreciate; we will do this on Thursday and Friday as well, together with the priests of the family.”
Mama Winnie’s gravesite is close to where her great-grandchildren are buried: Zenani Zanethemba Nomasonto Mandela died tragically in a car crash in 2010; Baby Zenawe Mandela died two days after birth in 2011.
Fourways memorial park CEO, Wikus Lategan says, “The Mandela family estate is a double grave where she will be laid to rest. That differs from client to client needs. Ultimately we pride ourselves in the service we deliver. The service for a well-known person or a normal man on the street, if you get buried in one of our parks it is very similar.”