Nelson Mandela. Pictures: AFP
President Jacob Zuma has announced that a national memorial service would take place for former president Nelson Mandela on December 10 at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
Zuma told journalists on Friday afternoon that a week of mourning was declared in honour of the world icon.
He declared Sunday December, 8 as a National day of prayer and reflection.
“We call on all people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and homes to pray and hold mediation services.”
“On the 11th to 13th of December the remains of our beloved Madiba will lie in the state union buildings in Pretoria,” he said.
During these days, Zuma said, official memorial services would take place in all provinces and regions.
A seemingly exhausted Zuma thanked South Africans and the world for the support rendered following Mandela's passing.
The president announced late on Thursday evening that Mandela. 95, passed away at 20:50pm at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.
“Madiba will get a state funeral. He will be made to rest on the 15th of December in Qunu in Eastern Cape province,” Zuma said.
“We thank South Africans in the dignified manner in which they respected the monumental loss of international icon who was a symbol of love... reconciliation.”
Minister in the presidency Collins Chabane said Mandela's funeral would be handled on a three- tier approach.
“It is the family, the ANC and thirdly, government,” he said.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said memorial services would take place in all 54 regions of the party across the country.
“We will also announce places in towns identified by provinces where flowers and messages will be placed. Even a small dorpie must have a place identified,” he said.
On the day three and four of mourning, the ANC would be joining in all official memorial services.
“We will be talking to organizations in the community, NGOs, churches, and traditional councils. Its the time for South Africa to unite and not be petty,” Mantashe said.
He announced that day 6,7 and 8 of mourning, ANC would conduct provincial and regional memorial services.
Mantashe said not all memorial services would be attended by Mandela family members but ANC National Executive Committee members would be deployed.
“On day 9 we all moving to Eastern Cape. We want to work as close as possible with state and family. So we don’t trample on each other,” he said.
Mantashe said they were in talks with government and the family for the ANC's participation in the official funeral.