State Funeral Programme


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Date: 15 December 2013

18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013

Obituary of
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

It is with deep sadness that the Government has learnt of the passing of the father of
South Africa’s democracy – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20h50 on the
5th of December 2013.

The man who was to become one of the world’s greatest icons was born in Mvezo,
Transkei on 18 July 1918, to Nongaphi Nosekeni and Henry Gadla Mandela. His father
was the key counsellor/advisor to the Thembu royal house. After his father’s death in
1927, the young Rolihlahla became the ward of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting
regent of the Thembu nation. It was at the Thembu royal homestead that his personality,
values and political views were shaped. There can be no doubt that the young man
went on to bring about some of the most significant and remarkable changes in South
African history and politics.

It is through Mandela that the world cast its eyes on South Africa and took notice of the
severe and organised repression of black South Africans. Yet it was also through Mandela
that the world would learn the spirit of endurance, the triumph of forgiveness and
the beauty of reconciliation. Indeed, the story of Nelson Mandela is so much the story
of South Africa.

When he was only 25 years old, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress
(ANC). His political career would span decades more – as he himself said: “The struggle
is my life.” The young Mandela also qualified and practiced as a lawyer. Together with
Oliver Tambo he opened the first black legal practice in Johannesburg.

Mandela married Evelyn Nomathamsanqa Mase in 1945. They were married for fourteen
years and had four children: Thembekile (1946), Makaziwe (1947), who died at
nine months, Makgatho (1951) and Makaziwe (1954). The couple divorced in 1958.

He was instrumental in the formation of the radical ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the
1940s which was determined to change the face of politics. Mandela was elected the
league’s National Secretary in 1948 and President in 1952.

Much of the years that followed saw Mandela deeply involved in activism, rallying for
political change against the increasingly aggressive apartheid government. He was a key
player in the ANC’s Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952 and the Treason
Trial in 1961. During this time he was incarcerated several times under the apartheid
laws and banned from political activity. Realising that the ANC needed to prepare for
more intensive struggle, he became an instrumental force behind the formation of a new
section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), as an armed nucleus with
a view to preparing for armed struggle. Mandela was commander in chief of MK.

On 14 June 1958 Nelson and Winnie Madikizela were married at a local Bizana church.
They had two children, Zenani (1958) and Zindziswa (1960). In April 1992 they were
separated and finally divorced in 1996.

He left the country in 1962 and traveled abroad to arrange guerilla training for members
of MK. On his return to South Africa he was arrested for illegally exiting the country
and incitement to strike. Mandela decided to represent himself in court. While on trial,
Mandela was charged with sabotage in the Rivonia Trial. This is his famous statement
from the dock made in 1964: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought
against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in
which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I
hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

In the same year Mandela and the other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment
in the Rivonia Trial and sent to Robben Island, near Cape Town. While in prison,
Mandela rejected offers made by his jailers to be released on condition that he renounced
violence. “Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Only free men can negotiate,” he said.
He served a total of 27 years in prison for his conviction to fight apartheid and its injustices.

Released on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life’s work,
striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991,
at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for
decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and
colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organisation’s National Chairperson.

In a life that symbolises the triumph of the human spirit, Nelson Mandela accepted
the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (along with FW de Klerk) on behalf of all South Africans who
suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land.

The era of apartheid formally came to an end on the April 27, 1994, when Nelson Mandela
voted for the first time in his life – along with his people. However, long before that date
it had become clear, even before the start of negotiations at the World Trade Centre in
Kempton Park, that the ANC was increasingly charting the future of South Africa.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was inaugurated as President of a democratic South Africa
on 10 May 1994.

This world icon worked tirelessly even after the achievement of democracy in South
Africa to continue improving lives. Even as he retired from politics, his attention shifted to
social issues such as HIV and AIDS and the wellbeing of the nation’s children.

As a testimony to his sharp political intellect, wisdom and unrelenting commitment to
make the world a better place, Mandela formed the prestigious group of called The
Elders – an independent group of eminent global leaders who offer their collective
influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of
human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Mr Mandela is survived by his wife Graça, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and
12 great-grandchildren.

Funeral Programme

Programme Directors:

Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and Ms Baleka Mbete


Family Valedictory Service: Rev V Nyobole

Opening devotions

06:00 – 06:30 Viewing of the body

06:30 – 06:45 Homily

06:45 – 07:00 Draping of the casket

07:00 – 07:20 Placing of the casket on the gun carriage
and forming up of procession

07:30 – 07:50 Procession departs for the marquee


Funeral Service (from 08:00 – 10:10)

Musical item: Lizalis’ idinga lakho

National Anthem: Combined choirs

Opening devotions: Bishop D Dabula

Children’s recording: Rolihlahla Mandela

Acknowledgement of dignitaries: Programme Director

1. Madiba Family Representative: Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima

2. Close friend: Mr Ahmed Kathrada

Musical item: Jerusalem likhaya lami

3. Reading of the Obituary

4. Tribute by the children and grandchildren: Ms Nandi Mandela

5. Tribute by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (AU Chairperson)

Musical item

6. Tribute by President Joyce Banda (SADC Chairperson)

7. Tribute by President Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania)

8. Oration by President Jacob G. Zuma

9. Sermon: Bishop Z Siwa

Musical item: Choir

Announcements: Programme Director

Benediction: Bishop Z Siwa

Military Ceremony: Chaplain-General of the SANDF

Movement of Designated Mourners to the Gravesite

Military Procession


President and family are seated at the gravesite

Removal of the Orders, Decorations, Medals and Miniature RSA Flag from the coffin
by the SANDF to be handed over to the Chief of the SANDF who hands it over to the
President for presentation to the Next-of-Kin.

Undraping of the casket

Pall-bearers salute and withdraw

Military pall-bearers take up position

Playing of the National Anthem, 21 Round Interment Salute and the Salute Flight

The Last Post is sounded

Sounding of Reveille

Military pall-bearers salute and withdraw

Committal Service by Bishop D Dabula

Vote of thanks: Major-General (retired) Bantu Holomisa

Benediction: Bishop D Dabula


Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika

Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,

Yizwa imithandazo yethu,

Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,

O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,

O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,

Setjhaba sa South Afrika – South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,

Uit die diepte van ons see,

Oor ons ewige gebergtes,

Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,

And united we shall stand,

Let us live and strive for freedom,

In South Africa our land.

This programme is Issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)