JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The South African government announced on Saturday that preparations are in full swing for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela.
Among the arrangements, Mandela's body is being prepared by the Military Health Service of the South African National Defense Force to lie in state at the Union Buildings from Dec. 11 to 13, said Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency.
Work is also underway at critical venues such as the Union Buildings in Pretoria, FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, Mthatha and Qunu in the Eastern Cape, and at ports of entry to prepare for the events related to the State Funeral, scheduled for Dec. 15, the minister said in a statement.
He said the government reiterates the call by President Jacob Zuma for the nation to use Dec. 8 as a national day of prayer and reflection in places of worship, homes and communities to celebrate the life of Mandela and the legacy he has left.
The government has set Dec. 10 for official memorial service at FNB Stadium, to be attended by members of the public, VIPs and VVIPs.
This event will be attended by a number of visiting Heads of State and Government, Chabane said, adding that the government is in the process of briefing the diplomatic corps to facilitate the attendance of visiting leaders.
South Africans and selected international visitors and guests will be able to view Mandela's remains at the Union Buildings for three days from Dec. 11.
Mandela's remains will be transported daily between 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria and the Union Buildings, Chabane said.
On Dec. 14, Mandela's remains will be transported to the Eastern Cape from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria, where the ruling African National Congress will bid Mandela farewell.
Also on this day, a procession will take place from Mthatha to Qunu where the Thembu community will conduct a traditional ceremony.
On Dec. 15, a funeral service and interment ceremony will take place at Mandela's home and final resting place at Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
"Government will keep South Africans and the international community updated as completely and transparently as possible, in order to make this farewell to Mandela as inclusive and popular as possible," Chabane said.
Mandela died of a long standing lung problem on Thursday at his Johannesburg home, at the age of 95.
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The death of former president Nelson Mandela "will not pose" an impact on South African future political direction and developments, analysts said on Saturday.
In an interview with Xinhua, University of South Africa (UNISA) Political Sciences Professor, Dirk Kotze said Mandela was not "actively involved" in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and national politics since his retirement in 1999.Full story
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday expressed deep grief over the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95.
In a message of condolences to his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, Xi said the Chinese people will always remember his extraordinary contribution to the development of bilateral relations and the cause of human progress.Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Thursday mourned the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela and gave his "deepest condolence" to the family of Mandela and the people of South Africa and Africa as a whole.
"I am profoundly saddened by the passing of Nelson Mandela," Ban told reporters here. "Nelson Mandela was a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration."Full Story
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of Nelson Mandela, saying the former South African president has "achieved more than could be expected of any man."
In a televised speech at the White House, Obama hailed Mandela as a man who has made real his ideal of "a democratic and free society" in which all live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.Full Story