What is a State Funeral?

  • A State Funeral is a public funeral ceremony with full military ceremonial honours reserved for all Presidents of South Africa.
  • The National Flag will fly at half-mast at all flag stations throughout the country and at missions abroad from the date of the announcement of the death until the evening of the burial.
  • The National Days of Mourning begin from the date of the announcement of the death of until the evening of the burial or cremation.
  • The remains of the deceased will lie in State at the Union Buildings or any other place declared by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
  • The length of the period for the lying-in-state will be determined by the President.
  • The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will deploy a Guard of Honour for the arrival and removal of the remains from the venue of the Lying-in-State.
  • SANDF Sentries will be posted to guard the remains continuously until moved from the venue.
  • The Office of the Director-General in The Presidency is charged with organising, planning and executing all funeral arrangements.
  • The Director-General in The Presidency will appoint a Special Aide to the family to assist with arrangements such as liaising with the relevant government departments that will be coordinating preparations for the funeral.
  • The Presidency together with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation will coordinate the receiving of mourners and honoured guests at international airports and other arrival points of South Africa.
  • The Director-General in The Presidency will formulate a list of honorary pall-bearers from the civilian side, in accordance with the desires of the next-of-kin and will notify the persons selected.
  • The State Funeral Service will be conducted at the Union Buildings amphitheatre or at any other venue as directed by the President of the Republic.
  • The burial may take place in the Capital City as the seat of Government, unless the family of the deceased decides on a different place.
  • Government will provide free transport for mourners attending the venue of an official Memorial Service for the late President.
  • Government must also provide the necessary logistical support to the family of the deceased, including coordinating the development and distribution of programmes for the Memorial Service and Funeral.
  • A burial with full military honours means the following: State funeral category 1 meaning a full military ceremonial honours. Funeral procession lead by the military.  It includes:
    • 21 gun salutes
    • Guard of honour
    • Poll  bearers
    • Fly past
    • Gun carriage to carry the coffin
    • Brass band
    • Street lining
    • Playing of the National Anthem

General enquiries

Frequently asked questions

Tel: 012 473 0114 or 012 473 0389