Beyond the talk about selfies and worse, about unvetted schizophrenics who hallucinate seeing angels beside President Obama but cannot perform sign language, this is what is real:
Some of you have noted that the links that I provided for the memorial service earlier this week for Nelson Mandela are still viable and active. However, the next few days will mark the final goodbyes to the late president and freedom fighter, with activities moving from Pretoria to Qunu, the place where Mandela was born and raised. I am providing the same links here just in case the former are shut down, and because this most recent post will be more readily seen and accessed.
And, you will receive a taste of South African news, politics and history and culture. I have since learned that eNCA is a private, fairly independent news agency, while SABC, the public broadcasting arm, is best known as the network that most closely reflects the politics of the African National Congress, or the ANC.
Above, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gives an interview about her former husband’s final moments for Independent Television News or ITN in Britain.
They may have been divorced, they may have been political rivals with vastly differing viewpoints, but Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela still had a bond beyond just children and grandchildren. A bond reflected with this kiss between Winnie and Graca Machel, Nelson’s widow. Some have called them Nelson’s co-wives, and perhaps they were (Courtesy: dream hampton/Facebook)
What will happen this weekend?
Mandela’s body will be flown from an air force base in Pretoria on Saturday to South Africa’sEastern Cape province. This is where Mandela’s ancestral village of Qunu lies. The family farm there will be his final resting place.
Members of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, will bid Mandela farewell from the air force base. An honor guard from the South African National Defense Force will then take charge of his casket, which will be draped in the national flag.
On arrival at Mthatha Airport, the closest to Qunu, the casket will be placed on a gun carriage, while the national anthem is played and the honor guard presents arms and salutes. Mandela’s family will follow the carriage in cars.
Thousands of mourners are expected to line the streets from Mthatha Airport to watch as the military transports Mandela’s remains to the remote village where the former leader spent much of his childhood.
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 in Qunu, the military will formally pass responsibility for his remains to his family.
The South African flag 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 the men in Mandela’s family are expected to gather for a private night vigil, held according to the traditions of the Thembu community, his native clan, before a very public funeral the next day. Villagers may gather outside the house to pay their respects.
The celebrities and dignitaries in Qunu will include the likes of Oprah Winfrey, the Prince of Wales, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.