450 people allowed at Mandela's burial site: S. African gov't   2013-12-15 03:06:00            

The hearse transfers the coffin of former South African President Nelson Mandela from Mthatha airport to Qunu village in Eastern Cape, South Africa, Dec. 14, 2013. The body of former South African President Nelson Mandela will be transferred to Qunu village Saturday. A state funeral will be held in Qunu on Sunday, where Mandela spent much of his childhood.(Xinhua/Meng Chenguang)

CAPE TOWN, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- About 450 these guests will be allowed at the burial site during former South African president Nelson Mandela's funeral, the government said on Saturday.

These people, including Mandela's family members, have been accredited to move to the actual burial site where the AbaThembu clan will conduct a traditional ceremony, Minister in the President Collins Chabane said in the update about preparations for the state funeral.

Most of the people attending the funeral will not be able to go to the burial site, Chabane said.

The arrangements that are in place at the Mandela family homestead in Qunu, Eastern Cape make provision for about 4,500 people to attend Sunday's State Funeral Service in a marquee on the family property.

The funeral service will be broadcast live on television to allow millions of people both in South Africa and around the globe a chance to follow Mandela's final journey to his resting place.

"We appeal for respect for the former President's final resting place and for all to be sensitive to this culturally significant site of the AbaThembu clan," Chabane said.

Mandela's body, flown from Pretoria to Qunu earlier in the day, will be in his bedroom on the second floor of his homestead for the night.

Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected black president, died of illness at his Johannesburg home on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.


In pictures: Mandela's body transferred to Qunu village in Eastern Cape

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Editor: Mengjie
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