Madikizela-Mandela memorial service moved to Orlando Stadium

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JOHANNESBURG, April 5 – The memorial service for late anti-apartheid struggle heroine Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be moved from Regina Mundi Church to Orlando Stadium to accommodate the expected large number of mourners, Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Thursday.

The memorial service will take place on April 11, while the funeral will be held at Fourways, north of Johannesburg on April 14.

Dlamini-Zuma said the Department of International Relations would soon announce the list of foreign guests.

“The diplomats based here will be the ones confirming who will attend. That is all handled by the department, but we know that there will be people coming in from around the world to bury uMam’ Winnie.”

Dlamini-Zuma was accompanied by members of the inter-ministerial committee tasked with overseeing the smooth running of the funeral. They included Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, and Intelligence Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.

The anti-apartheid activist and former wife of the late Nelson Mandela died at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday. She had been ill for some time and had been in and out of the hospital since the beginning of the year.

Affectionately known as ‘Mother of the Nation’, Madikizela-Mandela was lauded for holding the fort in the fight against apartheid when the apartheid regime arrested activists, including her former husband. She was hounded by state security police and subjected to imprisonment, torture, house arrests, and endless banning orders.

In recognizing her contribution and sacrifice for her country, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for Madikizela-Mandela. Category 1 entails elements of military ceremonial honors and was declared — in line with the Presidency’s State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy — for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the president.

”Madikizela-Mandela was a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in silver for her “excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa,” the Presidency said in a statement.

“In line with this declaration, the National Flag shall, with immediate effect, fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad. This will be observed until the evening of 14 April 2018. The President has further declared national days of mourning from today, 3 April 2018 until 14 April 2018.”

– African News Agency (ANA)