Preparations underway for Madiba memorial

December 9, 2013 5:55 PM

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Preparations underway for Madiba memorial

Mia Lindeque | Today, 19:54

NASREC – Officials and media crews deployed to work at FNB Stadium ahead of the biggest memorial service the world has ever seen are preparing for a long night.

Tens of thousands of people, including more than 90 heads of state, are expected to converge on the calabash to bid farewell to former president Nelson Mandela.

He died at his home in Johannesburg on Thursday after a long battle with a recurring lung infection.

Preparations are now well underway, with ANC officials decorating lamp posts with posters of the former president reading, "We love you Madiba".

Gates are expected to open to the public from 5am, but people might be queuing well in advance.

Click here to download the City of Joburg's press release on travel arrangements to the memorial.

The event will kick off with the national anthem before opening remarks, interfaith prayers and tributes by family and friends.

Earlier on Monday, Eyewitness News spoke to two South Africans who travelled from England and arrived at the stadium with camping gear, ready to sleep in front of the gate in order to secure a seat inside.

In the meantime, accredited media crews have started camping out, setting up stages and mobile studios.

Private security guards will be assisting the police and ANC marshals with crowd control.

They've been told to expect their hands to be full throughout the day as the stadium cannot accommodate the volume of people expected there.

Sniffer dogs have already checked the grounds for bombs while police and metro police are patrolling the streets surrounding the stadium.

Horseboxes are parked next to the road, with officers grooming them and preparing for a long day on Tuesday.

Fire trucks and ambulances have also arrived there to assist with any situation that may arise.

For an up–to–date and comprehensive guide to the various events taking place this week, including information on transport, see EWN's special guide, Saying goodbye to Madiba: Event planner, or the shorter guide, Mandela events: Brief information guide.

Source: ewn.co.za

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