News / Africa

South Africa to Ensure ‘Successful’ Mandela Memorial Service

An image of Nelson Mandela is displayed on a digital screen as workers on scaffolding construct a stage ahead of Mandela's national memorial service at First National Bank (FNB) Stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
An image of Nelson Mandela is displayed on a digital screen as workers on scaffolding construct a stage ahead of Mandela's national memorial service at First National Bank (FNB) Stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Johannesburg, Dec. 9, 2013.
Peter Clottey
South Africa’s security institutions are working with foreign officials to provide protection for the heads of state and government at Tuesday’s memorial service of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, according to Lindiwe Zulu, an advisor to President Jacob Zuma.

More than 80 foreign leaders have confirmed their intention to attend, say South African officials. The government has declared 10 days of mourning following the death of the former president.

Zulu expressed confidence in the government’s ability to manage such a large event.  She says South Africa’s success hosting the finals of the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup shows that the country has the ability to ensure Mandela’s memorial service is also a success.

“When you talk about security,” she said, “we have institutions that are very experienced already running huge events in South Africa and so far we have never had any major hiccups.”

                    Security

Zulu said the country’s security officials will provide the high level of protection needed by attending foreign heads of state and government. She said the security officials are working with representatives of the leaders to ensure a smooth successful program.

“This [memorial service] is even much more important for us because we have the world backing us. We have South Africans in each and every corner really looking forward to ensuring that the sending off of Mandela is as smooth as it possibly can,” said Zulu.

Zulu said the South African government and citizens are ready following thorough preparations to bid farewell to the former president.

“We have special institutions that have the capacity to deal with such issues, so we are ready for the funeral,” said Zulu. “We have a plan in motion, and we are satisfied because the administration is working very closely with the family of former president Nelson Mandela -- obviously because we have to respect the fact that he belongs to a family even though he was a statesman.”

She said Madiba, as Nelson Mandela is called by his clan name, should not only be mourned, but also celebrated since he lived a full life in spite of nearly three decades of imprisonment.

“He left an indelible mark on humanity, and our [task] is now to pick up that and continue where he left off, because we are sure that he will rest in peace, particularly because he knew that [ANC] leadership is also capable,” said Zulu. “He is one of the leaders who truly believed in collective leadership. We hope that we will be able to carry that on to make sure that we collectively take South Africa forward, united.”

                    Meeting Madiba

Zulu, who was forced into exile in Angola, Uganda and Tanzania and Zambia under the former apartheid government, recalls meetings with Mandela following his release from jail.

“When he came out of prison, he came to address us.  The message he carried to us at the time, as young and angry as we were to return to fight the system, [was] that the [ANC] had taken a decision that we were going to attain our independence through negotiations,” said Zulu.

“We said to ourselves if he could spend 27 years in prison and come out with the kind of message, who were we to argue that? Instead we joined his call together with the leadership of the ANC hence we have this democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.”
Clottey interview with Lindiwe Zulu, adviser to South Africa president Zuma
Clottey interview with Lindiwe Zulu, adviser to South Africa president Zumai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More