Over 70 heads of state have given word of their attendance at Madiba's memorial service, set to be held at 11am tomorrow, at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.
The service is expected to be one of the largest remembrance services in recent history, with a great number of serving and past heads of state attending. In addition, the stadium is likely to be filled to full capacity as 80 000 members of the public attend. Madiba last made an appearance at the stadium at the 2010 World Cup final.
Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, have revealed details of the international guests who have already begun arriving.
According to Chabane, 13 African presidents will be at the service. This excludes royalty who would also make themselves available for the event. Chabane said he was impressed by the short-notice response that many leaders had tendered. Chabane added that countries who had paid their respects by flying flags at half-mast, and draping or lighting landmarks in the colours of the South African flag, were appreciated.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, French president François Hollande, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are all expected, along with a long list of international dignitaries and marquee celebrities. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will attend Tuesday’s memorial service.
Among the other world leaders scheduled to attend is Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and singer-activist Bono, as well as British billionaire Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel, are expected to be among the celebrity mourners.
Around 11 000 troops from the military have been mobilised to ensure security and help with crowd control efforts during the week-long series of funeral events. The South African Defence Force recalled thousands of soldiers who had been on leave.
According to www.gov.za, members of the public can travel to FNB Stadium using the various forms of transport outlined below as no cars will be allowed at the FNB Stadium and the three other overflow stadiums.
Park and ride sites will be available from 6am in the morning at the following areas.
Transport will be provided to supplementary National Memorial Sites Ellis Park Stadium, Dobsonville and Orlando stadiums.
N1 and Rand Show Road, N1 and Soweto Highway, N1 and 17, N1 and Nasrec offramp, Greenwood Rd and Booysens Reserve, and Nasrec and Main Reef Roads.
The public can catch the memorial at the following national broadcast centres around the country.
Ivory Park, Diepsloot Park, Diepkloof Extreme Makeover Park, Orlando West Park, Thokoza Park, Innesfree Park, Joubert Park, Rose Park-Lenasia, Orange Farm Regional Park, Kremetart Park, Eldorado Park and Tanzania Park-Cosmo City, Thabo Mbeki sport ground, Westonaria Wededela, Zenzele informal settlement, Ellis Park Stadium, Dobsonville Stadium, Orlando Stadium, Makhulong Stadium, Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Mayibuye Centre, Kimberley taxi rank, Springbok town hall, De Aar CBD, Upington community centre and Mothibistad.
Mthatha Stadium, Khaya Majola Stadium, Mvezo village, Nelson Mandela Stadium, Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Cofimvaba Stadium, Mount Ayliff town hall, Matatiele Stadium, Somerset East, Miki Yili Stadium, Empa and Nkalane villages, Port St Johns military base.
Mbekweni Thusong centre, Worcester town hall, Nelson Mandela hall, Swellendam Thusong centre, Rosemore Stadium, Oudtshoorn Thusong centre, Plettenberg Thusong centre, Langebaan Thusong centre.
Madibogo community hall, Mmabana Taung, Matlosana Banquet hall, Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Mbombela Stadium, Themba Sinamela Stadium, Msukaligwa stadium, Drieskoppies Stadium and Mkhulu Stadium.
Durban city hall, Msunduzi city hall, Umzimkhulu college, Mtubatuba KwaMsani ward 1, Osizweni hall, Cicil Emmet hall, Newcastle farmers hall, Mpumelelo Stadium, Ezakheni park, Imbali township and TB Molefe Stadium, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Port Shepstone civic centre.
Jack Botes hall, Nkowankowa hall, Moreka school, Worship house, OR Tambo hall, Mabota civic centre.
Rocklands hall, Bohlokong community hall, Mautse community hall, Nyakallong hall, Van Staden hall, Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium, Steynrus, Allenridge, Rosendal and Van Stadenrus.