Funeral arrangements & services

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was laid to rest during an official State Funeral, which took place over a period of 10 days.

Former President Mandela was buried at Qunu in the Eastern Cape on 15 December 2013, following an official memorial service on 10 December at FNB stadium in Johannesburg.

South African flags at all official buildings flew at half-mast throughout the period. 

The public was be given ample opportunity to pay their last respects to former President Mandela. Public venues throughout the country served as memorial centres where people could participate in public mourning events.

Books of condolence were available at all municipalities and government departments as well as our diplomatic missions around the world.

People could post tributes, record memories and express their emotions on the Government Facebook page. Alternatively they could call 0800 314 446 where the messages were recorded, shared with the family and the President and archived for further generations.

Memorial service - 10 December 2013

Details on the service were available under Memorial service.

Lying in State - 11 to 13 December 2013

South Africans and selected international visitors and guests were to view President Mandela’s remains at the Union Buildings for three days from Wednesday, 11 December.

President Mandela’s remains were transported daily between 1 Military Hospital, Thaba Tshwane, and the Union Buildings. The procession left 1 Military Hospital at 07h00 of route

The public were encouraged to form a guard of honour by lining the streets: Kgosi Mampuru from Jeff Masemola Street to Madiba Street and Madiba Street from Kgosi Mampuru Street to the Union Buildings. See the map for the route.

Wednesday, 11 December
1.     The body of former President Mandela were moved from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings at 07h00. 
2.     The family and heads of state viewed the remains. 
3.     The public viewed the remains from 12h00 noon till 17h00.

Thursday 12 and Friday 13 December
1.     The body of former President Mandela were moved from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings at 07h00
2.     The public viewed the remains from 08h00 -17h00.

Park and ride

The City of Tshwane activated park-and-ride facilities for the public at:

  • the Tshwane Events Centre
  • LC De Villiers Sports Facility (SOUTH STREET ENTRANCE) in Hatfield
  • Fountains Valley Park.


Transporting of remains to Qunu - Saturday, 14 December 2013

On Saturday, 14 December, the former President’s remains were transported to the Eastern Cape from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria, where the ruling party bid Madiba farewell.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) took charge of this leg of the State funeral.

A military Guard of Honour welcomed the mortal remains which was draped in the national flag. 

Upon arrival at Mthatha Airport the SANDF contingent performed the ceremonial removal of the mortal remains form the aircraft.

The coffin were placed on a gun carriage and then transported into a hearse.

The SANDF sounded the national anthem while the Guard of Honour Presented Arms and saluted.

The mortal remains were thereafter transported to the family home in Qunu, where the Thembu community conducted a traditional ceremony.

State funeral service at Qunu - 15 December 2013

The funeral service at Qunu concluded the 10 day State funeral period.

The Mandela family, the President and Cabinet, and other dignitaries were in attendance.

The SANDF was again be charged with draping the coffin. A National Salute was performed and the National Anthem played.

General enquiries

Frequently asked questions

Tel: 012 473 0114 or 012 473 0389