Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

8 December 2013

Africa: South Africa's Big Test - Hosting the World's Goodbye to Madiba

Photo: enews channel
Nelson Mandela will be buried, next to his children, in Qunu in the Eastern Cape as he wished.

analysis

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...

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InFocus

How Nelson Mandela Will Be Buried

Nelson Mandela will be buried, next to his children, in Qunu in the Eastern Cape as he wished.

Arrangements for the state funeral of former South African president Nelson Mandela have started in earnest, as the nation prepares for the main memorial service at FNB Stadium in ... Read more »