South Africa: Joint Sitting of Parliament to Honour Mandela

There will be a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament, the National Assembly (NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), on Monday to honour and commemorate former President Nelson Mandela.

The sitting, which will start at 2pm, will offer MPs time to reflect on Mandela's life.

Parliament, which was currently in recess, was due to reconvene in the new year but under the rules of Parliament, Speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu and NCOP chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu, acting jointly, may call a joint sitting of the houses when necessary.

"The passing of an iconic world statesman, a political, moral and intellectual colossus of Madiba's stature more than justifies the convening of a special sitting of Parliament, even during recess," the Presiding Officers said in a statement.

Additional spaces will be made available to accommodate members of the public who wish to be part of this extraordinary session of Parliament.

Flags at Parliament are currently flying at half-mast, and books of condolences will be opened at various spots within the precinct.

To commemorate Mandela's legacy, a special exhibition of photographs will be mounted in the precinct.

Various spaces will be designated to enable members of the public to show their last respects for the duration of the mourning period and a special exhibition will be mounted across Parliament.

Special telephone lines have been activated to assist members of the public who need information regarding arrangements about Madiba's funeral. The numbers are 021 403 2502/ 2621/ 2833. -

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