Govt calls for privacy over Mandela burial

The casket of the late former SA President Nelson Mandela arrives at the Union Buildings in Pretoria under the watchful eye of his grandson Mandla Mandela. 12/12/2013, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

The government on Saturday called for privacy and respect during the burial of former president Nelson Mandela.

“The privacy and comfort of the Mandela family is of utmost importance at this point in the mourning stage,” Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane told reporters.

He said Sunday’s burial ceremony would be observed in accordance with the rituals and customs of the AbaThembu people, which dictates that such burial take place in privacy.

He said no vehicles would be allowed into the property.

The service would be attended by 4500 people and only 450 would witness the rituals.

“We appeal for respect for former Madiba’s final resting place and for all to be sensitive to this culturally significant site of the AbaThembu clan.”

The minister announced that government would be working throughout the night to ensure smooth operation for the burial. Guests were expected to start arriving in East London before midnight and then be ferried to Qunu.

The last bus would leave the airport at 2am. The park and rides at the Walter Sisulu University would start transporting guests at 2am.

“All guests should be seated by 7am. Doors will close at 7.30. No one will be allowed in after that,” he said.

The minister also announced that at least 600 villagers would be attending the funeral.


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