Nelson Mandela’s funeral was planned a year ago, according to reports. The Guardian UK reports that it has obtained a full schedule of events which are very extensive. According to their documents, “all living presidents” will be expected at the funeral. Of course there will also be many other famous celebs, including Oprah. The entire course of funeral events will run for 12 days.
While it is not unusual for large state funerals to be generally planned years in advance, it does seem a bit excessive that the exact funeral activities would have been planned over a year ago. Certainly, the family must have known that Mandela would soon be gone from this earth, and it appears he passed away six months before the “official” press announcement of his death yesterday.
Interesting, The Mirror, a UK paper, reported in June that they had just obtained the exact funeral details for Nelson Mandela. That report was released on June 29, just three days after a court document revealed that Mandela was in a “permanent vegetative state.” That same day, June 26, the family was quarreling in court over where Mandela should be buried. The court document said “The Mandela family has been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off.” On June 29, The Mirror received the exact funeral plans for Mandela.
Funeral plans include his body lying in state for three days and the Guardian UK also reports that there will be a glass-topped coffin so that people may see the body of the great icon. There have been previous reports that the funeral will be covered live by CNN and that they snagged exclusive rights to broadcast the funeral after talk with Mandela’s daughter, Makaziwe Mandela.
CNN later denied these claims, but daughter Mandela would neither confirm nor deny the reports, saying “Unless you tell me who told you this, I’m not going to confirm anything. Tell me which of them it was. That was a confidential meeting and it should not be talked about.”
While Makaziwe Mandela would not speak to the claims, she did admit she’d had a meeting with CNN, so it seems safe to assume that the family has been concerned over who would be willing to grease their palms in exchange for the funeral rights.
Speaking about Mandela today, South African President Jacob Zuma said:
His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude. They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.
While it is true that Mandela struggled for freedom; as Guardian Express reported, it is also true that his family has always been extremely concerned over money, so much so that they refused to switch off Mandela’s life support back in June even though they were instructed by doctors to do so. In this way, they kept Mandela tethered to machines while they pursued lawsuits against him.
Mandela’s funeral was planned over a year ago and he has been deceased for the last six months. Finally he will be allowed to rest.