By Jueseppi B.
STATE MEMORIAL SERVICE
FOR THE LATE FORMER PRESIDENT
Date: 10 December 2013
18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013
Obituary of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
It is with deep sadness that the Government has learnt of the passing of the father of South Africa’s democracy – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the 5th of December 2013.
The man who was to become one of the world’s greatest icons was born in Mvezo, Transkei on 18 July 1918, to Nongaphi Nosekeni and Henry Gadla Mandela. His father was the key counsellor/advisor to the Thembu royal house. After his father’s death in 1927,
the young Rolihlahla became the ward of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu nation. It was at the Thembu royal homestead that his personality values and political views were shaped. There can be no doubt that the young man went on to bring about some of the most significant and remarkable changes in South African history and politics.
It is through Mandela that the world cast its eyes on South Africa and took notice of the severe and organized repression of black South Africans. Yet it was also through Mandela that the world would learn the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness and
the beauty of reconciliation. Indeed, the story of Nelson Mandela is so much the story of South Africa.
When he was only 25 years old, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress. His political career would span decades more – as he himself said: “The struggle is my life.” The young Mandela also qualified and practiced as a lawyer. Together with Oliver Tambo he opened the first black legal practice in Johannesburg.
Mandela married Evelyn Nomathamsanqa Mase in 1945. They were married for fourteen years and had four children: Thembekile (1946), Makaziwe (1947), who died at nine months, Makgatho (1951) and Makaziwe (1954).The couple divorced in 1958.
He was instrumental in the formation of the radical African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the 1940s which was determined to change the face of politics. Mandela was elected the league’s National Secretary in 1948 and President in 1952.
Much of the years that followed saw Mandela deeply involved in activism, rallying for political change against the increasingly aggressive apartheid government. He was a key player in the ANC’s Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952 and the Treason Trial in 1961. During this time he was incarcerated several times under the apartheid laws and banned from political activity. Realising that the ANC needed to prepare for more intensive struggle, he became an instrumental force behind the formation of a new section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), as an armed nucleus with a view to preparing for armed struggle. Mandela was commander in chief of MK.
On 14 June 1958 Nelson and Winnie Madikizela were married at a local Bizana church. They had two children, Zenani (1958) Zindziswa (1960). In April 1992 they were separated and finally divorced in 1996.
He left the country in 1962 and traveled abroad to arrange guerilla training for members of Umkhonto weSizwe. On his return to South Africa he was arrested for illegal exiting the country and incitement to strike. Mandela decided to represent himself in court.
While on trial, Mandela was charged with sabotage in the Rivonia Trial. This is his famous statement from the dock made in 1964: “I have fought against White domination, and I have fought against Black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
In the same year Mandela and the other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial and sent to Robben Island, near Cape Town. While in prison, Mandela rejected offers made by his jailers to be released on condition that he renounced violence.
“Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Only free men can negotiate,” he said. He served a total of 27 years in prison for his conviction to fight apartheid and its injustices. Released on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life’s work,
striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.
In a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit, Nelson Mandela accepted the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (along with FW de Klerk) on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land. The era of apartheid formally came to an end on the April 27, 1994, when Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in his life – along with his people. However, long before that date it had become clear, even before the start of negotiations at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, that the ANC was increasingly charting the future of South Africa.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inaugurated as President of a democratic South Africa
on 10 May 1994.
This world icon worked tirelessly even after the achievement of democracy in South Africa to continue improving lives. Even as he retired from politics, his attention shifted to social issues such as HIV and AIDS and the wellbeing of the nation’s children. As a
testimony to his sharp political intellect, wisdom and unrelenting commitment to make the world a better place, Mandela formed the prestigious group of called The Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.
Mr Mandela is survived by his wife Graça, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
11:00 – 15:00
National Anthem: Mass Choir
Welcome and Opening Remarks: Programme Directors
Tribute by Family Friend: Andrew Mlangeni
Tribute by Family: General Thanduxolo Mandela
Tribute by the Grandchildren: Mbuso Mandela
Tribute by UN Representative: Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Tribute by AU Commission Chair: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
Vice-President Li Yuanchao (China)
President Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia)
President Pranab Mukherjee (India)
President Raúl Castro Ruz (Cuba)
Keynote Address by the President of the Republic of South Africa:
His Excellency Jacob Zuma
Sermon: Bishop Ivan Abrahams
Vote of Thanks: Premier of Gauteng, Nomvula Mokonyane
The Nelson Mandela Memorial Service begins at 4:00 AM US EST
Live streaming here:
Nelson Mandela Memorial Service
Scheduled for Dec 10, 2013
Nelson Mandela Memorial Service
Mandela funeral coverage starts 3 a.m. Tuesday Chicago time
WASHINGTON–The national memorial service for South African leader and global icon Nelson Mandela will be televised live by U.S. networks, with coverage starting at 3 a.m. Tuesday Chicago time and running for four hours.
After interfaith prayers and tributes to Mandela from a family friend, family and four grandchildren global figures will speak: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, African Union Commission Chair Nikosazana Zuma, six foreign leaders will speak, with President Barack Obama the first.
Obama will be followed by Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, who recently dropped a visit to the U.S. in the wake of NSA spying on Brazil; China Vice President Li Yuanchao, Nambia President Hifikepunya Pohamba, India President Pranab Mukjerjee and Cuba President Raul Castro.
The keynote will be delivered by South African President Jacob Zuma, who announced the death of Mandela last Thursday.
The South African government posted the program book for the service and you can see it HERE.
International leaders, including President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will honor Nelson Mandela at a public memorial service at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg tomorrow. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. local time (4 am ET).
Brian Williams will anchor a special report for NBC News beginning at 4 am ET Tuesday. Williams will also anchor “Nightly News” from Pretoria tonight and tomorrow.
CBS News will have coverage of the memorial service during “Up to the Minute,” the early morning newscast, beginning at 4 am ET. CBSNews.com will have a live stream of the service.
Fox News will cover the memorial service when it begins at 4 am ET, with coverage continuing through “Fox & Friends First” and “Fox & Friends.”Greg Palkot and producer Paul Tilsley will contribute to the network’s coverage from the FNB Stadium in South Africa.
MSNBC will simulcast NBC News’ special report, with the “Morning Joe” team taking over at 6 am ET. The full memorial service will stream on msnbc.com.
Nelson Mandela’s Funeral, Farewell Plans – Day By Day Schedule. The President & First Lady Will Attend.
Thank you CNN:
Johannesburg (CNN) – For the Xhosa people of South Africa, death is traditionally not something to be talked about or to be planned for, no matter how inevitable or close it may seem.
But those close to Nelson Mandela had little choice as the country’s first black leader lay in a Pretoria hospital and then at home in Johannesburg on life support.
In the final years of his life, secret plans were hammered out between the government, the military and his family as they prepared for a fitting farewell for a great man.
Below is a breakdown of how those plans will unfold over the next 10 days, culminating in a state funeral to be broadcast to millions worldwide and a very private farewell for those closest to him.
As is often the case with events of this magnitude, plans might change due to weather, security and other factors. But for now, this is what the authorities and the family hope will happen.
According to multiple sources involved with the planning of the final farewell to the South African icon, the 10 days of mourning will combine both Western traditions and those of the Thembu, Mandela’s native clan.
Day 1 to Day 4
Mandela passed away at 8.50 p.m. Thursday (1.50 p.m. ET), surrounded by his family, South African President Jacob Zuma said. CNN understands that during his final hours, Mandela would have also been surrounded by Thembu elders. Importantly, at some stage – either at his home or in the mortuary – the traditional leaders will gather for a first ceremony, a tradition called “the closing of the eyes.”
Throughout the ceremony, they’ll be talking to Mandela, as well as to his tribal ancestors, to explain what’s happening at each and every stage to ease the transition from life to beyond.
After the ceremony, it’s believed Mandela’s body will be embalmed at the mortuary, which is understood to be a military hospital in Pretoria.
No formal public events will be held until five days after Mandela’s death when tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the FNB Stadium, known as Soccer City in Soweto for a memorial service.
It was at that stadium that in July 2010 Mandela made his last public appearance at the World Cup final.
Spectators rose to their feet, their cheers partly drowned out by the deafening shriek of thousands of vuvuzelas to pay tribute to the then-92- year-old who some had feared might be too infirm to show up.
In stark contrast to the mood of elation, the atmosphere on Day 5 is expected to hang heavy with grief as a nation mourns Madiba.
It is unclear whether Mandela’s casket will be there.
Some world leaders might attend this memorial service instead of the state funeral later on in the week.
A White House Official tells CNN the administration is working on plans for President Barack Obama to travel to South Africa to attend the memorial service.
Day 6 to 8
According to sources, Mandela’s body will then lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of power of the South African government.
The first day will be reserved for dignitaries. The public will be allowed to file past his casket on days 7 and 8. Viewing hours are expected to be limited to daylight. Long lines will likely form from the very early hours of the morning.
It was at the historic Union Buildings that Mandela was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994. On that extraordinary day, crowds converged around the building to witness history being made. That day, a former political prisoner achieved what was once unthinkable and became South Africa’s first post-apartheid black leader.
Nine days after Mandela’s death, a military aircraft will leave a Pretoria airbase and fly south to Mthatha, the main town in the South African province of Eastern Cape.
Thembu elders and members of the Mandela family make the journey with Mandela’s casket.
Thousands of mourners are expected to line the streets from Mthatha airport to watch as the military transports Mandela’s casket on a gun carriage to the remote village of Qunu, where the former leader spent his childhood years.
Along the way the procession is expected to pause for prayers to allow ordinary South Africans to pay their respects.
Once at Mandela’s house, the military will formally pass responsibility for his remains to his family.
The South African flag that is expected to be draped over the coffin will be replaced with a traditional Xhosa blanket, symbolizing the return of one of their own.
At dusk, ANC leaders, local chiefs and Mandela’s family are expected to gather for a private night vigil before a very public funeral the next day.
The funeral and burial will be on the grounds of Mandela’s Qunu home. It’s expected that thousands of people, including dozens of heads of state, will gather for the state funeral. The funeral will take place under a large tent nestled in the hills where Mandela ran and played as a child.
A tight military cordon is expected, in an attempt to assuage security fears. The event will be broadcast to an audience of millions around the world.
At midday – when the summer sun is high in the sky – Mandela will be buried into the rocky soil of his homeland. Only a few hundred close family members will bid that final farewell to Mandela as he is laid to rest.
The burial area has been especially built for him; some of Mandela’s long deceased family members are already buried at the site.
It will be, according to custom, a homecoming.
His grave site is surrounded by rocky outcrops, hardy grass used for the grazing cattle and bright orange aloe plants.
The aloes are indigenous succulents which are hardy, drought-resistant, medicinal plants that bloom across the bushveld when all else is dry and dull. A symbolic floral gesture to a man whose life was filled with sacrifice and tragedy but who triumphed with a tenacity of spirit and hope in even the darkest of days.
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