Airport plans for mourners

2013-12-12 08:43

Johannesburg - Plans have been made for the large number of mourners passing through the airports ahead of former president Nelson Mandela's funeral, the home affairs department said on Wednesday.

"As the world prepares to commit his mortal remains to his home ground at Qunu, we stand ready to do everything in our power to help facilitate the smooth movement of... mourners from our continent and other parts of the world," said Minister Naledi Pandor in a statement.

Pandor said there were plans to deal with the expected turn out in Lanseria, Waterkloof Air Force Base, Port Elizabeth airport, OR Tambo International Airport and other land ports.

Mthatha Airport will be used exclusively by heads of state. 

"We have been in constant communication with other relevant entities including the department of international relations and co-operation and the Airports Company SA, among others, to attain timely arrivals and departure information for dignitaries attending the funeral."

The Minister said capacity had been increased at airports to ensure all cubicles were staffed on a 24-hour basis for the whole week.

"Our IT personnel have also been deployed to the identified airports to deal with any technological glitches that might arise," she said.

Pandor said visas would be issued on arrival to mourners from countries where South Africa did not have a diplomatic presence.

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

His memorial service on Tuesday was attended by dignitaries and heads of state from around the world, including US President Barack Obama.

Mandela will be buried in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.

Read more on:    flights  |  nelson mandela  |  air travel  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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