Madiba's Memorial and Funeral. What to expect over the next few days.

2013-12-08 20:19

11 000 soldiers will be deployed countrywide to support police for all events planned, starting with a memorial service at FNB Stadium.

For Foreign dignitaries coming to South Africa, there will be three main Points of entry: OR Tambo, Lanseria and Waterkloof Airforce Base ( Waterkloof being used for heads of state)

On the Eastern Cape side Mthatha airport will only be used for heads of state. For invited guests, East London and Port Elizabeth airports will be available.

There will be a large convoy of vehicles from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings, where a receiving guard or Guard Of Honour will receive the remains of Madiba. They will slow march his remains to where he will lie in state. I'm assuming, with a guard comprising of one soldier of every arm of service, armed and with bayonets fixed,standing at rest around his coffin. This will happen every day until Friday.

On Saturday there will be a very large send off for Madiba at Waterkloof Airforce Base, I'm assuming a large SANDF contingent comprising of all arms of service will be present to receive him,if there is a band present,  Dead march (from Saul) a Slow March will be played, and Madiba's Coffin will be Slow Marched onto a C130 aircraft, accompanied by old friends and ANC veterans Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, Dennis Goldberg as well as the ANCWL's Gertrude Shope. At this point the Minister of Defence And Military Veterans Ms Mapisa-Nqakula would have flown ahead to Mthatha to receive him. She will be there waiting with yet another SANDF contingent, as well as SAPS, in order to escort Tata to Qunu.

Now from this point one of two things may happen, at Mthata Airport, a very large SANDF contingent will be there to receive Tata Madiba, or there will be a small one, and a very large SANDF and SAPS contingent to line the streets and he will be slow marched to the grave site.

At the point Tata's Coffin is lowered into the earth, a lone trumpeter will play the "The Last Post" this begins a period of silence, usually a minute, and then the "Reveille" ends it. The two tunes symbolize sunset and sunrise respectively, and therefore, death and resurrection.

Below is an example of what you will hear. South African and British military tradition are very similar. Please click the link to hear.

Last Post and Reveille

This is a very special time for Soldiers in SA, and will be one of the greatest moments of their lives. To all the Soldiers and SAPS involved, I Salute you, you make me very proud, and I am honoured to have served with you all.

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