Grandson has remained with Mandela body since day 1

2013-12-13 09:27

Pretoria - Members of the public began viewing the body of former president Nelson Mandela on Friday as he lay in state for the third and final day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Several elderly people, many dressed in traditional outfits, as well as some police officials, were among the first in line to view the body.

Police officers stopped and saluted the beloved statesman.

Grandson Mandla Mandela stood to the side at the structure where the body lay. Dressed in black, he contrasted sharply against the elaborate white floral displays beside him.

Earlier he softly mouthed the words of the national anthem as a military band played. He has remained with his grandfather's body every day. According to AbaThembu tradition, an adult male family member must remain with the body until burial.

The public can view the body from 08:00 to 17.30.

Long queues have marked the previous two days as tens of thousands of South Africans gathered to say their final farewell.

The City of Tshwane said over 20 000 people arrived at the Union Buildings and park-and-ride facilities were shut down early on Thursday after the venues reached capacity.

Government communication services put attendance figures at 12 000 to 14 000 for Wednesday, the first day in which Mandela lay in state.

On Friday, several memorial services will take place throughout the country to honour the former president.

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

His body will be taken to the Eastern Cape on Saturday. He will be buried in a state funeral on Sunday in Qunu, where he spent much of his childhood.

Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at

  • Eff Boer Farmer - 2013-12-13 09:32

    he really deserves a big chunk of mandela's money

      Eff Boer Farmer - 2013-12-13 10:24

      hi cannot stand up for that long for nothing ekse..

      Nasiefa Jackson Lazarus - 2013-12-13 11:12

      well apparently he was very close to he's grandfather ! cant really blame the guy let have some sympathy here

      Tshidi Rantai - 2013-12-13 11:13

      Rightfully so Eff Boer Farmer. But I happen to believe Mandela was a wise man he has a will, every one will get according to the will.

  • Sbudafaya - 2013-12-13 09:54

    This has nothing to do with money, like in some traditions that I know of either the woman would surround the body and in this case the eldest male family member will be beside the body. Can we stop politicizing and being critical on things we know nothing off. I am particularly concerned about some of my black brothers and sisters who know these traditions but now make a mockery of them on this platform, I will excuse those cultures that don't know them and would advise us as nation to teach and learn these things from each other, besides all that's what the man in question would have wanted. God Bless Mzansi.

      Magda Cremer - 2013-12-13 10:21

      I agree with you Sbudafaya. I do not know much about your tradition, but from what I have learned in the pass few days, made me understand why all this is happening. We all are going to miss Madiba, and he will always have my respect for what he has achieved in SA. May he now rest in peace. Just wish I could have been there to pay my last respects. :(

      lacrimosewolf - 2013-12-13 19:39

      Agreed. He has shown great respect and taken on an important responsibility with the added pressure of all the world's eyes on him. It must be very stressful. He must be very tired.

  • Thokozane Sibeko - 2013-12-13 10:05

    But does he have to stand for the whole viewing hours, sitting down is it not permitted?

      Thokozane Sibeko - 2013-12-13 10:25

      Those who are disliking, are disliking the question?

      Dale Goodwin - 2013-12-13 10:52

      Good question Thokozane. It must be hard for him. But it must also be a great family honor.

      Violet Bossut - 2013-12-13 11:39

      They can sit but I am sure he prefers to stand

      Ayanda M Masina - 2013-12-13 12:56

      I have been there , he does sit down but he also gets tired of sitting down as well.

  • Henry Jansen - 2013-12-13 10:06

    Mandla is the man! no wonder he is untouchable as the eldest grandson, not even Mandela's own daughters carry as much weight as Mandla,

  • Wollie Wolmerans - 2013-12-13 10:16

    Fantastic showing his dedicated respect

  • Deanne Du Preez - 2013-12-13 10:33

    He is doing his duty to his grandfather, and to his family, and to his Tribe. He does not deserve criticism. It is hot, and the smell of flowers is almost overpowering, yet he stands there.

  • Rashida Patel - 2013-12-13 11:07

    Mr Mandla Mandela for future presidency !!Thank you mandla,your courage & honor has moved me to tears!You have done your grandad proud!Bless you !

      Ayanda M Masina - 2013-12-13 13:06

      Mandla is no different from his Grandfather, at his age Madiba was doing chaos too, he was a known ladies man his name is Rholihlahla (troublemaker) it is his escapades that made him the man he became and when I look at Mandla I see someone that will grow and be a great man too

  • Collins Mobu - 2013-12-13 11:15

    Mandla has been striving to do best for his family and community. People let's stop critisizing everything, I c no sign in him being interested in mandelas money infact him, tokyo sexwale, george bizos are the threats to vultures who are eying madibas cash.

  • Jo Davies - 2013-12-13 12:01

    There are pictures of him at the memorial "Jack"

  • Arthur Joao - 2013-12-13 12:16

    please give the man a break is not always about the money no one know who are the beneficiaries so let the man grieve his grand father besides that he is the only elder grand son in the family that is why the abathembu allowed him to be next to his grand father casket what the rest of you know about the african culture each and everyone has a culture all around the world Thank you Mandla to be there with alot of respect GOD BLESS YOU MANDLA.

      Zeezou Nyandeni Alves - 2013-12-13 13:47

      I agree wth u Arthur is nt alwys abt money.some ppl like 2 talk we are black and we respect our culture....I hv so much respect for Mandla Mandela...

  • Maggie Cox - 2013-12-13 14:17

    Wasn't there a Mandela grandson in the news a couple of years ago for trying to sell the rights of coverage of Nelson's funeral to the media? Not saying it was him - just asking.

  • Nompi Ngubeni - 2013-12-13 18:07

    Siyabonga Mandla for the respect and ukuzithoba kwakho kuTata and the Mandela family,God bless you.

  • Elijah Ncala - 2013-12-14 06:33

    Mandla your grandfather choose u to be a King not keep da gud work mzukulu kaDalibhunga....bayeke bakhulume!!!but the fect is Ukhethe wena...I support you.100%

  • jungleboy - 2013-12-14 08:05

    Isn't this the guy that holds the world tv rights to Mandela funeral?

  • OldNick - 2013-12-14 09:08

    So what do we have here? A loving adult grandson faithfully fulfilling a solemn traditional duty towards his deceased grandfather. It is only news because of who the grandfather is and that the number and duration of ceremonies are drawing out his traditional duty longer than usual. I admire his resolve at seeing through what must be for him a physically and emotionally tiring yet important duty. Why then the snide comments? Sometimes the rule applies that if you cannot say something helpful then rather say nothing at all.

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