Dignitaries set to attend Madikizela-Mandela funeral and memorial

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (File, Netwerk24)
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (File, Netwerk24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a eulogy for struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at her funeral on Saturday, while his deputy David Mabuza will deliver the keynote address at her memorial service on Wednesday.

Both events will be held at Orlando Stadium.

Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who leads the inter-ministerial committee overseeing the events, said at a press briefing on Tuesday that Madikizela-Mandela's family chose Orlando because she lived there.

She will be buried at Fourways Memorial Park cemetery.

Wednesday's event will start at 11:00.

The memorial service programme includes tributes from family members, organisations that worked with Madikizela-Mandela, representatives from various political parties, as well as cultural items, and Mabuza's speech on behalf of the government.

Saturday's service will start 09:00. The programme includes tributes from family members, close friends, international leaders and a representative from the AbaThembu Royal House. Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy and two heads of state, a vice-president and a former head of state will be in attendance.

Dlamini-Zuma said other eminent people were also expected, including chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki and American civil rights activist and politician Jesse Jackson.

"What we have seen over the past [few] days reflect the true spirit of South Africans in celebrating the life of one of their own [who] they loved, who had passion for her community and passion for young people and passion for humanity," said Dlamini-Zuma.

"We want to thank people from around the country and the world for their warm and generous responses in the wake of the passing of our beloved Mama Winnie," said Dlamini-Zuma.

"All South Africans are indebted to the role Mama Winnie played in the liberation of our country."

People will be bussed in for both events and there will be park-and-ride services from Nasrec station.

The Johannesburg Metro Police will issue advisories on which roads will be closed.

Dlamini-Zuma said they have received media registration from 900 journalists from South Africa and abroad.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mabuza, in his capacity as leader of government business, had a briefing with leaders of political parties represented in Parliament at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, for an update on the state of readiness for the memorial and funeral.

"Following the sad news of the passing of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1, in line with official and provincial official funeral policy," read a statement from the Presidency.

"In this regard, Mama Madikizela-Mandela's funeral will have elements of both military and ceremonial honours."

Mabuza thanked leaders of political parties "for their unwavering support and commitment to honour Mama Madikizela-Mandela".

Political parties were represented by IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, NFP leader Nhlanhla Khubisa, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and the secretary general of the ACDP Raymond Tlaeli.

"Deputy President Mabuza has extended an invitation to all the leaders of the political parties to join hands in ensuring a pleasant and befitting send off for Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela," read the statement.

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