Kenyans to pay last respects to Mandela

December 9, 2013 10:33 am
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The service which will take place between 2pm and 4pm will be held at the St Andrews Presbyterian Church of East Africa along State House Road.
The service which will take place between 2pm and 4pm will be held at the St Andrews Presbyterian Church of East Africa along State House Road.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – The South African High Commission in Nairobi has invited the public to a memorial service in honour of the late Nelson Mandela to be held on Tuesday.

The service which will take place between 2pm and 4pm will be held at the St Andrews Presbyterian Church of East Africa along State House Road.

“Books of condolence will be opened during the Memorial Service,” a statement from the High Commission reads.

The service will take place simultaneously with various ones in South Africa with the official one taking place at Soccer City in Johannesburg which President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend.

The stadium which has a sitting capacity of 90,000 has the added significance of not only being the last place in which Mandela made a major public appearance, during the 2010 FIFA world cup, but the grounds on which he made his first speech after 27 years of imprisonment.

Meanwhile in Kenya, in addition to the memorial service, the public will also have the opportunity to pass on their condolence messages at the Kilimani Primary school where a book will be stationed from Monday to Saturday.

Dignitaries and United Nations (UN) staff will also have access to condolence books at the High Commission and the UN offices in Kenya respectively.

The memorial services are part of the 10-days of mourning that the South African Government has set aside to mark the passing of the Anti-Apartheid hero.

Kenya, which Mandela visited after his time in prison, flew its flags at half-mast for three days beginning Saturday.

Following Tuesday’s memorials, Mandela’s body is set to lie-in-state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he served one term as the South African nation’s first black President.

Mandela will then be buried in his home town of Qunu in the Eastern Cape where he was born 95 years ago and will be laid to rest on Sunday.

Over 50 Heads of State have confirmed their attendance of these memorial events that mark not only the end of Mandela’s battle with lung infections but an illustrious career that spanned decades and birthed a rainbow nation.

A nation for which Mandela sacrificed close to 30 years of his life behind bars in his fight against apartheid and for which he earned the admiration of an entire globe.

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