South Africa unveils plans for Mandela's first death anniversary

South Africa would commemorate the first death anniversary of global icon Nelson Mandela next week with a range of diverse events, including an inaugural marathon, inter-faith prayer service and a symbolic wreath-laying ceremony.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 29, 2014, 20:57 PM IST

Johannesburg: South Africa would commemorate the first death anniversary of global icon Nelson Mandela next week with a range of diverse events, including an inaugural marathon, inter-faith prayer service and a symbolic wreath-laying ceremony.

On December 5, the commemoration of the first anniversary of the death of the former president will start with a wreath laying ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would address the official commemoration ceremony at Freedom Park in Pretoria later in the day.

Schools, factories and places of worship would ring their bells and sirens at exactly three minutes and seven seconds before 10am to "call the country to attention".

South Africans would then observe a moment of silence up to 10.03am.

The South African National Anthem will then be sung.

The time lapse from the ringing of the bells to the end of the moment of silence is 6 minutes, 7 seconds and is symbolic of the 67 years the country's first democratically- elected President spent in the service of humanity, including 27 years as a political prisoner.

There will also be an inter-faith prayer service and symbolic wreath-laying led by veterans, including Mandela's confidante and fellow prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, at the seat of government, the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Other initiatives in his memory would include the nationwide Mandela Day, Literacy for Leadership Book Drive and the virtual tribute digital app.

The gun carriage that carried Mandela's coffin will also be put on display and the South African National Defence Force would pay tribute to Mandela.

A friendly cricket match between the Blue Label Proteas and the Springboks would be played at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg.

The inaugural Tshwane City Marathon on December 14 will retrace Mandela's final journey through the streets of South African capital from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings and the Waterkloof Air Force Base.