No plans to release Mandela pics

The car carrying the coffin of former President Nelson Mandela drives by the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 12 December 2013. Mandela will lie in state for the second day follwing his passing a week ago. 2000 people per hour are expected to pay their last respects. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

There are no plans to release official photographs of former president Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the government said on Thursday.

“Government is respecting the [Mandela] family’s wish that no photographs of [former] president Mandela’s body be released,” spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.

“With regard to mourners filing past the casket, government repeats the caution that no photography is allowed, as this would violate the military protocol governing proceedings at the Union Buildings.”

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last Thursday, at the age of 95. An official memorial service was held at FNB stadium, in Soweto, on Tuesday. He will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.

Williams said the government was aware of “social media activity” on the existence of a picture of Mandela lying in state.

“Government welcomes the way in which people on social platforms are expressing their disappointment and outrage at any circulation of such photographs,” she said.

“If this content exists, government calls on people not to view it and to delete it from their [social media] timelines.”


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