Huge crowd at Albertina Sisulu’s funeral
Johannesburg - Mourners started arriving at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday morning for ANC stalwart Albertina Sisulu’s funeral.
The ANC Women’s League, dressed in green and black, were leading those who had already taken their seats by singing struggle songs, whistling and clapping.
Images of Sisulu’s coffin making its way from her home in Orlando to the stadium could be seen on big screens set up by the podium on the field.
Family members, dignitaries, government officials and ANC heavyweights were arriving.
A larger-than-life picture of Sisulu printed on a cloth with the ANC emblem was laid out on the field with the words “nation builder and selfless leader” and “hambe kahle thole!”.
Albertina Sisulu died aged 92 while watching TV at home on Thursday night last week.
In 1994 she was elected to the first democratic Parliament, which she served until retiring four years later. She was a deputy president of the ANC Women's League, a nurse and a midwife, and took part in the formation of the United Democratic Front, the 1956 anti-pass march to the Union Buildings and the launch of the Freedom Charter.
President Jacob Zuma granted Sisulu an "official funeral category 1", reserved for distinguished persons, specifically designated by the president.
Zuma was expected to deliver the eulogy on Saturday. Several memorial services took place during the week with the official memorial being held at the Tshwane City Hall on Thursday.
A night vigil was held on Friday at the Holy Cross Church in Soweto.
Free transport has been offered to mourners on Saturday.
Commuters travelling from Vereeniging, Larella, Daveyton, Katlehong, Springs, Mabopane and Pienaarspoort would be able to attend Mama Sisulu's funeral free of charge, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said in a statement.
About 500 buses and seven trains were in the process of transporting people to the funeral.