Honouring Mandela - Day 7, as it happened

2013-12-12 07:06

Get all the latest details as the country and world continues to honour the memory of Nelson Mandela.


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Last Updated at 14:31
Police started lining streets in Pretoria at around 05:00 on Thursday for the moving of former president Nelson Mandela's body to the Union Buildings.

This was the second day that the anti-apartheid icon's body would lie in state at the site where he was inaugurated as the country's first democratically elected president.

A large police contingent stood outside the Union Buildings and prayed before starting their day.

Mandela will be transported from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings on a daily basis until Friday.

Members of the public are invited to line the route and form a public guard of honour while his body is being transported.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people had gone to view Mandela’s body at the Union Buildings.

Later on Wednesday a memorial was held at Cape Town Stadium. Johnny Clegg, FreshlyGround, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Annie Lennox and others all performed.

- Are you at the Union Buildings or any other commemorative event? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

16:30 - 

16:26 - 

16:25 - 

16:19 - Purported photo of Mandela on Twitter

16:18 - 

16:15 - 

16:04 - 

16:01 - Minister: Interpreter a mistake

15:57 - 

15:54 - 

15:51 - 

15:50 - 

15:47 - 

15:43 - Malema arrives to view Mandela's body

15:40 - 

15:24 - Meanwhile, the ANC has released a statement basically distancing itself from interpreter Thamsanqa Jantjie.

15:19 - And in other news, Parliament has confirmed that the secrecy bill has NOT been signed into law. There was some confusion earlier after eNCA tweeted that it was.

14:57 - Govt has urged public to arrive at park and ride facilities as early as possible on Friday - to be transported to the Union Buildings.

14:44 - 

14:40 - 

14:35 - Just heard on a security radio that there are about 60 buses snaking around two blocks waiting to get into the Union Buildings, says Barry Bateman.


14:29 - 

14:27 - Government: Lying in state cannot be extended. "There is an understanding with the family they do not want the body to be moved after dark."

14:25 - South African government estimates that 13-14 000 people saw Nelson Mandela lying in state yesterday. By end of day it was 3 100 an hour, says The Guardian's David Smith.

14:22 - The angle & close up nature of the picture of Madiba lying in state makes it unlikely that it was taken during the public viewing, reckons SABC journalist Melini Moses of the photo apparently doing the rounds.

14:11 - For more information on the recently signed Protection of State Information Act, click here.

14:01 - And in unrelated news, the secrecy bill has been signed into law. 

13:57 - 

13:53 - 

13:47 - As a South African journalist living abroad it's been a tricky and painful time, says Judith Soal.

13:43 - There are no plans to release official photographs of former president Nelson Mandela lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the government says.

13:39 - 

13:38 - So what do you make of the deputy minister's explanation regarding the interpreter? Let us know at @Feedback@News24.com.

13:32 - B-Z: We need to up our sleeves collectively and appreciate the challenges deaf people experience every day.

13:31 - B-Z:  This experience echoes deaf people's day to day experiences.

13:30 - B-Z:  sign language to become a 12th official language

13:30 - B-Z: So once again Madiba lived beyond his grave...

13:28 - B-Z: SA Interpreters cost R1300-R1700 an hour - this interpreter got R800 a day

13:28 - B-Z: He had security clearance.

13:27 - B-Z: Company interpreter was registered with: owners have vanished "into thin air"

13:26 - B-Z: As govt we are trying to establish what happened with the interpreter.

13:25 - B-Z: He was alone. He started well and lost concentration.

13:25 - B-Z: The English was a bit too much for him.

13:23 - B-Z: We had one South African and one international interpreter.

13:22 - B-Z: He can speak sign language with his peers but he is not a professional interpreter.

13:22 - B-Z: He comes from a school for the deaf.

13:22 - B-Z: As a Botswana girl I would not say the country is embarrassed. 

13:20 - B-Z: The issue of sign language in SA has always been about where you live, what school you went to...

13:20 - B-Z: I don't think as a country we need to be embarrassed.

13:19 - B-Z: Need to contextualise some things. 

13:19 - Reporter asks why the interpreter's company wasn't vetted.

13:19 - Minister is now taking questions from reporters. Very speadily went through her statement.

13:18 - B-Z says the department is not responsible for the interpreter at Mandela's memorial service.

13:17 - B-Z says they were not involved in hiring controversial sign interpreter

13:16 - B-Z: I have a responsibility to protect the deaf community.

13:16 - B-Z: Interpreter was procured.

13:14 - Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu (henceforth referred to as B-Z) is now speaking.

13:08 - Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu has just arrived at the SABC's studio in Auckland Park for the press conference on the interpreter. It should be broadcast on one of the SABC channels. Should be...

13:01 - 

12:51 -  Just spent over an hour at home of "signer" Thami Jantjie (correct spelling). He is frantic and clearly on verge of breakdown, says eNCA's Karyn Maughan.

12:46 - 

12:45 - 

12:35 - 

12:32 - And Julius Malema and others from the EFF are also at Mandela's Houghton home.

12:30 - 

12:28 - Reverend Jesse Jackson is now at Madiba's Houghton home.

12:27 - 

12:25 - Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will brief the media on... what are we calling it? 'Signgate'? 'Fake Interpreter-gate'? Anyway, Bogopane-Zulu will brief the media on the saga surrounding the questionable interpreter.

12:20 - Governmentt welcomes the disappointment and outrage expressed on social platforms at the circulation of any picture of Madiba lying in state.

11:56 - 

11:49 - 

11:46 - 

11:36 - How lovely...

11:33 - Cuba's President Raul Castro is at the Union Buildings to pay his respects.

11:31 - 

11:22 - Zwelinzima Vavi has arrived at the Fountains Valley park-and-ride facility in Pretoria for a second consecutive day.

11:19 - Pick n Pay explains its decision to stay open on Sunday (unlike many other brands).


11:08 Mandela brand 'polluted' by online marketing - do you agree?

11:05Reverend Jesse Jackson has been spotted at the Union Buildings.

10:54 - 

10:52 - But Pick 'n Pay CEO Richard Brasher says no staff will be forced to work on Sunday.

10:47 - Unlike other store chains, Pick n Pay shops WILL BE OPEN on Sunday, tweets City Press's Natasha Joseph. It says all profits from the day will be donated to charitable causes. Nice idea.

10:42 - Not sure if this is true, but Yusuf Abramjee tweets that a picture of Madiba lying in state is doing the rounds. As Abramjee says, let's show some respect and not spread it please.

10:40 - There has been absolute silence as members of the public filed past Mandela's body at the Union Buildings.

10:27 - Thousands of people, carrying ANC flags, have answered the call to wear black to the Union Buildings, says City Press reporter Xolani Mbanjwa.

10:10 - The queue at the LC De Villiers Park and Ride is said to be kilometres long, according to a witness there. 

10:06 - Nxesi told EWN his team has been working tirelessly to get everything ready for Sunday's funeral, despite the rainy weather.

10:02 - 

10:01 - During EWN's interview, the site manager in Qunu came to greet Minister Nxesi.He was on site till 04:00, working through the night.

9:57 - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has told EWN that his department is in charge of erecting the arena for the funeral. Rain has caused delays, but they're working overtime.

9:48 - Overheard two Tuks groundsmen at LC de Villiers, eyeing thousands waiting for buses: “Jirre, hulle trap ons gras vlenters! (God, they're destroying the grass!)" - EWN reporter Barry Bateman just tweeted.

9:39 - The controversial sign interpreter spoke to Radio 702's John Robbie on Thursday morning:

9:36 - What a beautiful tribute! 


9:28 - The scene outside the One Military Hospital in Pretoria was quiet as people struggled with traffic gridlock.

9:05 - 

9:02 - Nelson Mandela will be remembered for thoughtfulness in all his actions, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel says.

8:50 - Get a few more details about the "fake interpreter" here.

8:49 - 

8:48 - 


8:46 - Hundreds of people are now streaming into the Union Buildings.

8:40 - See photos from Cape Town's memorial for Mandela which was held on Wednesday evening. 

8:34 - CNN approached Oscar-winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin to ask what her thoughts were when she first saw the "fake" interpreter on stage...

8:30 - A group of people in wheelchairs just past the coffin.

8:29 - Right. The City of Tshwane's Selby Bokaba tells Jacaranda News that Fountains Valley Park and Ride has been reopened after security issues.

8:27 - Members of the public are now viewing Tata's body.

8:14 - Fruit & Veg City stores (that includes Food Lovers' Market) and apparently Checkers will join Woolworths and Clicks in keeping their stores closed on Sunday as Mandela's funeral takes place. Edgars says their stores will be open.

8:11 - Military officials walking past Mandela's coffin doing a salute.

8:06 - Mandela's coffin is placed in centre of the amphitheatre, the brown top is opened, the face is uncovered, the glass placed on top. Same as Wednesday. 

8:05 - The interpreter says he works for a company called SA Interpreters. He's a senior interpreter, he says.

8:04 - Interpreter: Deaf SA should've cleared this up earlier with me. If I was interpreting incorrectly, why didn't they raise it?

8:03 - Interpreter: [I'm] absolutely happy with my service. I have been a champion of sign language. I've interpreted in many big events.

8:02 - He has worked at many official events including Walter Sisulu's funeral.

8:01 - The interpreter told Robbie: I'm very sad at this present moment. I feel this should have been an issue dealt with earlier.

7:59 - And in other news, the "fake interpreter" has spoken out. Thamsanqa Jantjies (or Dyanti as he told 702's John Robbie) says he had a schizophrenic episode while working at Mandela's memorial on Tuesday. 

7:56 - 

7:51 - The coffin is being moved to the amphitheatre.

7:47 - The SANDF band is standing at the ready.

7:46 - An official guard of honour is taking place as the coffin is being removed from the hearse.

7:45 - Mandla Mandela, wearing a black suit and blue jersey, is again standing alongside the hearse.

7:44 - Mandela's hearse has just arrived at the Union Buildings.

7:42 - Which is weird because photos were JUST tweeted of people boarding buses at Fountains Valley. We think Tshwane Metro police probably has their story wrong... 

7:38 - Some confusion about Fountains Valley Park and Ride - Jacaranda News just tweeted that Tshwane Metro police say it will NOT be used but the City of Tshwane says it's just been reopened. Have also seen some photos of people already queuing. If you're there, please tell us if it's open or not.

7:34 - 

7:31 - The Mandela procession was was ready to move at 07:00 but then at 7:15 a VIP arrived delaying the cortege.

7:30 - 

7:27 - If you're in Pretoria, here are all the details for road closures and what you need to know if you're going to view Madiba's body lying in state. 

7:24 - A large police contingent stood outside the Union Buildings and prayed before starting their day.

7:23 - Hundreds of people are queuing at the Fountains Valley Park and Ride to be transported to the Union Buildings after it was reopened.

7:22 - Quite awesome: 

7:18 - The SANDF says Mandela's body will be officially handed over to the ANC after the lying in state, to allow the party to say farewell, tweets Jacaranda News FM.

7:17 - 

7:16 - The military have arrived at the Union Buildings.

7:13 - The Fountain Valley Park and Ride has been reopened after the City of Tshwane closed it earlier because of a broken police scanner.

7:10 - 

7:06 - South Africans are lining the streets of Pretoria to form a guard of honor along the route that Mandela's coffin will take.

7:04 - Mandela's remains are being transported to the Union Buildings now.

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