Mozambique: National Mourning for Marcelino Dos Santos

Maputo — The Mozambican government on Wednesday announced that the state funeral of Marcelino dos Santos, the veteran nationalist and founder member of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), will be held on 19 February.

Dos Santos, who died on Tuesday at the age of 90, will be buried in Maputo's Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, alongside his friends and comrades Eduardo Mondlane, with whom he founded Frelimo, and Samora Machel, the country's first President.

Prior to the funeral, on 18 February, his body will lie in state at Maputo City Hall, in the capital's Independence Square.

The government has decreed seven days of national mourning, starting at zero hours on Thursday, during which the Mozambican flag will be flown at half mast.

The government statement announcing the funeral stressed "the sacrifice, courage, and bold selflessness" shown by dos Santos "in the resistance against foreign occupation, in the national liberation struggle against colonialism, and in the struggle against racism and other forms of oppression and domination".

One of the doctors who cared for dos Santos in his final years, former Deputy Health Minister Leopoldo da Costa, told reporters that the immediate cause of his death was heart failure.

He had suffered from various ailments, and "for some years he had been frequently hospitalised", said Costa. "Recently his condition was more stable, but this time his health gave out and his heart stopped".

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