Arrangements for the laying to rest of former President Nelson Mandela
Issued by the Presidency
7 December 2013
Compatriots and friends around the world,
We meet on the second day of the passing of our beloved founding President of a free and democratic South Africa, His Excellency Nelson Mandela.
We sincerely thank all South Africans for the dignified manner in which they have responded to the monumental loss of this international icon who was a symbol of reconciliation, unity, love, human rights and justice in our country and the world.
We thank the Heads of State and Government, international organisations and eminent persons around the world who continue to send messages of condolence and support to the family and all South Africans.
We announced yesterday that the Former President will be accorded a State Funeral. He will be laid to rest on the 15th of December, in Qunu in the Eastern Cape province.
We should all work together to organise the most befitting funeral for this outstanding son of our country and the father of our young nation.
We have declared Sunday, 8th December as a national day of prayer and reflection.
We call upon all our people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and in their homes for prayer services and meditation, reflecting on the life of Madiba and his contribution to our country and the world.
The main activities of the national week of mourning are as follows:
The official memorial service will be held on the 10th of December at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
From the 11th to the 13th of December, the remains of our beloved Madiba will lie in state at the seat of government, the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he served as the first President of this young democracy. During these days, official memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions.
Once again we thank all South Africans for the dignity, respect and the support that has been provided to the Mandela family, from the period of Madiba's illness to his eventual passing.
The outpouring of love that we experienced locally and abroad was unprecedented.
It demonstrates the calibre of leader that was Madiba.
We will always love Madiba for teaching us that it is possible to overcome hatred and anger in order to build a new nation and a new society.
We will spend the week mourning his passing.
We will also spend it celebrating a life well lived, a life that we must all emulate for the betterment of our country and Africa.
Long live Madiba!
I thank you.