The public will not be able to simply walk into the Union Buildings in Pretoria when the body of former President Nelson Mandela lies in state from 11 to 13 December. Those who are eager to say their farewell to the ‘Father of the Nation’ will have to comply with the stringent security measures which have been put in place ahead of the funeral.
Members of the public must attain accreditation to view the body at the Union Buildings. The presidency is keeping the public informed and will provide details about how people can go about getting accreditation in due course. Mourners will be expected to produce reliable identification documents and declare that they are not in possession of any recording equipment. Security personnel have prepared thoroughly for this occasion and they are equipped to react accordingly to any situation that may arise.
The South African government has set up a website in response to the countless queries regarding the programmes planned during the ten days of mourning and the state funeral. The website is www.mandela.gov.za and it provides detailed information about where South Africans can gather to celebrate the life of the iconic politician and pay their respects to him.
Minister Collins Chabane told journalists that the body of the late president will not be at the official public memorial service. Soccer City, the biggest soccer stadium in South Africa, was chosen as the venue for what promises to be a huge event.
All over the country, events have been planned such as the music concert at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday. Patricia De Lille, the mayor of Cape Town, announced the Nelson Mandela memorial agenda for the Western Cape and in particular, Cape Town. In Sandton, Johannesburg, the Nelson Mandela Square turned into a colourful garden as people left flowers for the lawyer who put his country ahead of himself.
For some, there is still shock at the news of Nelson Mandela’s passing while more believe that he is resting; a rest he deserves after his imprisonment, commitment to the apartheid struggle and continued dedication to the development of South Africa. Mandela’s death can be attributed to the multiple health ailments he picked up while serving time on Robben Island, among them, a recurring lung infection. Funeral arrangements are in progress for the funeral at the Mandela homestead in Qunu.