Madikizela-Mandela’ to be given a special official funeral
The late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be honoured with a Special Official Funeral Category 1 funeral‚ the Presidency confirmed in a statement on Tuesday evening.
Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said this category entailed “elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared‚ in line with the Presidency’s State‚ Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy‚ for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the decision was taken because of Madikizela-Mandela’s “excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa”.
“Mam’ Winnie deserves the highest respect our nation can demonstrate in honour of a patriot and citizen who served our nation and humanity at large with distinction during our liberation struggle and throughout our democratic dispensation.”
This means the South African flag shall immediately fly at half-mast at “all flag stations countrywide” and South African diplomatic missions abroad.
“This will be observed until the evening of April 14‚ 2018. The President has further declared national days of mourning from today‚ April 3 2018 until April 14 2018.”
The official memorial service will be held at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church on Mkhize Street in Soweto on April 11. The official funeral will be held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on April 14.
Madikizela-Mandela died on Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones‚ the family said in an official statement.