Scale of Mandela funeral ‘overwhelming’

2013-12-08 08:54


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Johannesburg - In an unprecedented display of unity, world leaders from around the globe are due to converge in South Africa to pay their last respects to former president Nelson Mandela.

According to the Sunday Independent, the world’s reaction to Madiba’s death seems however to have caught planners off-guard as by Saturday, speakers for Tuesday’s service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg had not yet been identified nor had the route been mapped out that will be used to transport the remains from 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria to the Union Buildings.

According to the ANC 54 memorial services would be held around the country, with the primary service at FNB Stadium on Tuesday. However, world leaders are expected to also attend Sunday’s burial service in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

This however, could prove a logistical nightmare as the Mthatha Airport is expected to be a scene of chaos due to its size. Chartered aircraft will only be able to drop off passengers as there is no space for them to park. They will then have to fly to either East London or Port Elizabeth.

According to Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency, diplomats from foreign embassies have been asked to use their own discretion with regards to Qunu. According to one diplomat, the government is not preventing anyone from going to Qunu. This he said was in line with African tradition that states no one can prevent any person from attending a funeral.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  collins chabane

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