The memorial events and funeral of former president Nelson Mandela is of "unprecedented magnitude", the South African government said on Saturday. From security to logistics, a massive planning operation involving multiple state departments is unfolding.
With the world's attention on South Africa, government has to ensure the smooth running of all the events where thousands of people, foreign dignitaries and a massive media contingent will gather over the next week to bid farewell to Madiba. So far, it is off to a bumpy start. Meanwhile, ordinary people are flocking to sites associated with Mandela to mourn and pay tribute.
Millions of people on the planet have their eyes on South Africa, watching the most prominent global citizen being remembered, celebrated and eventually laid to rest. The South African government is in charge of all the national events, including the state funeral at Qunu, three days of public viewing of Madiba's remains as his body lies in state at the Union Buildings and a mass memorial service at the Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on Tuesday.
Arrangements for all these events were unclear by Saturday afternoon, as Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane struggled to answer questions from journalists about...