Following are the main events in the South African government’s official programme for the mourning and state funeral of Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday, aged 95:
Sunday, Dec. 8 – National day of prayer and reflection in which South Africans will celebrate the life of Mandela and his legacy in places of worship, homes and communities.
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Official memorial service for Mandela to be held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, also known as the Soccer City stadium, the site of the 2010 World Cup final. This will be attended by members of the public and by a number of visiting heads of state and government.
Wednesday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 13 – Mandela’s body will lie in state in an open casket for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of the South African government, where it will be viewed by citizens and selected international visitors and guests.
The casket will be transported daily between 1 Military Hospital, Thaba Tshwane, and the Union Buildings. The government is inviting mourners to line this route and form a public guard of honour.
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Mandela’s body will be transported to the Eastern Cape from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria, where the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party will bid it farewell.
Also on this day, a procession will take place from Mthatha to Qunu, Mandela’s ancestral home, where the Thembu community to which he belonged will conduct a traditional ceremony.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – A state funeral will take place at Mandela’s home and final resting place at the family homestead in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
This will be open to selected dignitaries and heads of state who request to attend.
Sunday 8 December 2013 22:03