Viewing of the late former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s body entered its second day Thursday with the South African Broadcasting Corporation reporting that Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe and some of the late icon’s grandchildren have arrived in his ancestral home of Qunu ahead of Sunday’s funeral.
Former African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema was among thousands of people who viewed Mandela’s body Thursday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Later, Malema saluted President Robert Mugabe and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, while denouncing British Prime Minister David Cameroon, amid cheering from members of his newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters party.
The late Mandela’s widow Graca Machel and his former wife Winnie-Madikizela Mandela are expected to accompany Mandela’s body to Qunu on Saturday.
Military presence is said to be high in Qunu, with final touches being made in the family’s graveyard, where the late Mandela is expected to be laid to rest.
Meanwhile, Zapu’s Alternative Secretary-General Strike Mnkandla said the party’s leader Dumiso Dabengwa has already left Zimbabwe for South Africa to attend Mandela’s funeral.
Mnkandla said his party has strong historical ties with the African National Congress, as both their military wings of Zipra and Umkhonto Wesizwe worked together during the liberation struggle when Mandela was in the line of command.
As Zimbabweans continue to pay their last respects to Mandela, the Bulawayo City Council says it will hold a memorial service for the late Madiba, who holds Bulawayo’s Freedom of the City Award.
Madiba also has the freedom of the cities of Harare and Kwekwe. The service will be held at the city’s Ampitheatre Saturday and will be led by church leaders from Matabeleland. Bulawayo is also a twin city of Polokwane and Ethekwini, both in South Africa.