Madiba grave to be opened for public viewing

Late former state president Nelson Mandela’s grave in Qunu will finally be opened to the public after planned construction at the site is completed.

Former States Man, Nelson Mandela

Former cabinet minister and Gauteng premier Tokyo Sexwale revealed these plans yesterday in Orlando East, Soweto, where the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced its plans to mark the icon’s centenary in July next year.

Sexwale, who is also part of the foundation’s 10-member board, said there were plans to build on the site of Mandela’s grave and open it to the public.

Mandela was buried on his Qunu homestead outside Mthatha in the Eastern Cape in December 2013.

Other activities planned for Mandela’s centenary include a sequel to the former ANC president’s autobiography Long Walk To Freedom which will include his presidential years. The foundation’s chief executive Sello Hatang said the sequel would be published before the end of the year.

Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir will record an album to honour Mandela, while there will also be a nationwide tour of Market Theatre artistic director James Ngcobo’s play Letters from Mandela.

Children across the world will be encouraged to write their own letters to Mandela and drop them off at South African embassies in their countries.

Local children will be able to send their letters to Mandela through Post Offices throughout the country.

Spokesman for the AbaThembu kingdom Chief Mfundo Mtirara said they could not pronounce without consulting the immediate Mandela family.

However, he added: “If the family agrees, we don’t have a problem.”

Chairman of the Ngangelizwe royal family Chief Thanduxolo Mtirara said they had not met to discuss the matter. — Tiso Black Star Group

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