ANC to hold official send-off for Mandela at Waterkloof

2013-12-13 17:23

The ANC will conduct an official send-off ceremony for former president Nelson Mandela at the Waterkloof Air Force Base tomorrow morning before his body is flown to the Eastern Cape.

The party said more than 2 000 people were expected to attend, including African National Congress leaders, members of the tripartite alliance, guests, dignitaries and members of the public.

“President Jacob Zuma and leaders of the alliance will deliver tribute speeches on the life and legacy of Madiba,” the ANC said today.

“Members of the Mandela family will also be present at the ceremony before departing with Madiba’s mortal remains to Qunu.”

It was reported that all AbaThembu traditions would be observed once the body arrived at Mthatha Airport later tomorrow morning.

“The king [Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo] will tell Madiba that he is there to receive him. The king will salute Madiba and the procession will go to the Mthatha city centre,” chief Mfundo Bhovulengwe Mtirara told The New Age newspaper.

“We will then move the body to iNdlu eNkulu [the great house] at Qunu and then hand the body to reverends.”

The great house is usually the first rondavel built at a homestead.

The newspaper reported that the body would be handed over to the leaders of the Methodist church in the afternoon.

A public vigil will be held tomorrow night at the Walter Sisulu University’s Nelson Mandela Drive campus.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last Thursday at the age of 95.

A memorial service was held for him at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday and his body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from Wednesday to Friday.

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