Mama Winnie to be laid to rest

Mourners are this morning making their way to Orlando Stadium in Soweto to pay their final respects to late struggle icon Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The Mother of the Nation, as she was affectionately called, passed away on 2 April at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. According to her family, Madikizela-Mandela died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

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, Madikizela-Mandela will be honoured with a Special Official Funeral Category 1.

This means the funeral will entail elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared in line with the Presidency's State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy. It is given to persons of extraordinary credentials, as designated by the President.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is among the people who will address the funeral which is expected to get underway at 9am.

Other dignitaries expected to attend today include Namibian President Hage Geingob and United States civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson.

The period of mourning, as declared by the President following her passing, will end on Saturday evening when the struggle icon is laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mourners conduct

With thousands of mourners expected to attend the funeral, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structures (NATJOINTS) have discouraged parents and guardians from bringing young children.

Furthermore, mourners have been encouraged to cooperate with law enforcement officers and the designated marshals to ensure the smooth running for the funeral. Members of the public will also not be allowed to enter the stadium with dangerous weapons, alcohol or any illegal substances.

Hawkers will not be allowed to enter the security perimeter around Orlando Stadium. They may sell their goods outside the security zone.

Road closures

Police and law enforcement agencies have asked mourners and residents of Orlando, Soweto, to take note of road closures in the area, including the following streets:

N17 traffic circle and Klipspruit Valley

Soweto Highway and Mooki street

Sofasonke and Mooki street

Adams street and Masopha street

Adams street and Ballenden street

Adams street and Rathebe street

Adams street and Martha Louw street

Adams street and Mofokeng street

Adams street and Nkomoyahlaba

Adams street and Mooki street

Hlatswayo street and Mogoye

Mjongwe street and Mooki street

Mooki street and Mofokeng street

Mooki street and Martha Louw street

Mooki street and slipway at Orlando court

Martha Louw and Klipspruit Valley road

Nkwanca street and Martha Louw street

Masupa street and Mooki street

The City of Johannesburg said the funeral procession will depart from Orlando Stadium at 12pm.

The procession will head towards the N17, on-ramp the N1, off-ramp at William Nicol Drive and turn left into Cedar Road and into the private road of Fourways Memorial Park.

These routes will be blocked off for the procession. It is also believed that a 21 gun salute will be observed. Residents are requested to take the necessary precautions regarding hearing sensitivities and their pets during this time, the city said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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