Mandela memorial: Gates open at Ellis Park

2013-12-10 10:31
As the country mourns Nelson Mandela, the much-loved icon's death is a reminder that all South Africans form  a single nation. (AFP)

As the country mourns Nelson Mandela, the much-loved icon's death is a reminder that all South Africans form a single nation. (AFP)

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Johannesburg – At least 50 people had gathered when the gates opened at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, an overflow venue where people can follow the official memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela.

The service at the FNB Stadium south of Johannesburg is scheduled to start at 11:00.

At Ellis Park, a stage was set up at the northern side of the stadium where Mandela famously presented the Webb Ellis Cup to victorious Springbok captain Francois Pienaar at the 1995 Rugby World Cup wearing a replica jersey.

Ndzo Mtyi, a director of a Johannesburg-based earth-moving company, brought four of his shop stewards to represent their workers as they mourned the death of the global icon.

Mtyi said he met the former statesman at the unveiling of a 30m statue of Mandela at the Groot Drakenstein Prison, formerly known as Victor Verster, where Madiba spent the last three of his 27 years in prison.

"We decided to pay tribute to the old man, and I've decided to bring the shop stewards to represent the workers as we still have to push for production," Mtyi said.

"We honour the sacrifices he made for all races and for us to have this democracy. It is just a pity that we are not living up to his legacy."

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday at the age of 95. He will be buried in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.

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

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.

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