Qunu residents want to attend funeral

By Drum Digital
11 December 2013

Former president Nelson Mandela's next-door neighbours, in the Eastern Cape home in Qunu are worried that they could be denied access to the state funeral on Sunday.

Since Saturday police on horseback have been patrolling Qunu, as tens of thousands of South Africans, head of state, prime ministers and celebrities are expected to attend the funeral.

Only 5000 people will be allowed to the venue.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said foreign heads of state and dignitaries will not be stopped from attending Mandela's funeral, but are advised not to.

"Nobody will be prevented from attending..., however, given the size and the scale of the operation and the size of the delegation and the limited infrastructure in the area, we advise [against it]," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

Chabane said that because the site was in the bush, the facilities in the area would not be able to accommodate the numbers.

Mandela’s neighbour Zusive Nzeki Madiba (58) says with the father of the rainbow nation’s funeral fast approaching they are worried they would be denied access.

“I think this funeral is for only those important people, I not so sure anymore if security people would allow us near his casket or near Madida gravesite,” she says.

By Sthembiso Hlongwane

Pictures by: Mduduzi Ndzingi

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