South Africa will come to a standstill at 10am on Friday in honour of arguably the most-loved statesman, and large parts of the world may follow suit.
It will be preceded by “the ringing of the bells”.
One year after Nelson Mandela’s death, people all over the world have been asked by the government to observe three minutes’ silence at the stroke of 10am to reflect on the life of a selfless freedom fighter turned statesman who led the struggle for liberation from apartheid almost his entire life.
With the fall of apartheid he shunned retribution, becoming instead a shining example for all South Africans and globally of reconciliation and peace.
On Friday, Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, has called on all South Africans to:
* Ring their church and other bells, set off sirens, hoot, and use loudhailers to call the country to attention at 3 minutes and 7 seconds to 10am.
* Observe silence from 10am until 10.03am.
* The silence should end with the singing of the national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica, at 10.03am.
* South Africans are urged to wear their favourite Mandela T-shirt, shirt or other memorabilia on Friday in his remembrance.
* Those on social media could participate in a campaign using #RememberMandela to share their memories of Mandela.
Ramaphosa said: “On 5 December, 2013 we lost the father of the nation, one of the most revered leaders our country has ever produced, Nelson Mandela.
“In his memory we draw strength and comfort from the love, support and unity he bequeathed to the people of South Africa, Africa and the world. We are stronger and more united by the legacy he left us.
“Let us all keep Nelson Mandela’s legacy alive by living his values in every aspect of our own lives – unflinching sacrifice in the humble service of all of humanity. All South Africans are urged to play their part in moving South Africa forward as part of efforts to build a better South Africa, in a better Africa, in a better world, and in memory of this icon of our people, Nelson Mandela.”
There will be a wreath-laying ceremony attended by veterans of the struggle, including Madiba’s life-long friend and confidant Ahmed Kathrada at the Mandela statue on the Union Buildings lawns at 8am on Friday.
In Durban, the mayor, James Nxumalo, will host a function outside city hall between 9am and 1pm.
FW de Klerk said: “Nelson Mandela’s long journey from the rural Transkei to the presidency of South Africa came to symbolise the struggle for freedom and for non-racial democracy for the majority of our population.
“He played a crucial role in laying the foundations for national reconciliation and for the emergence of a new diverse and vibrant nation.
“His legacy remains to guide us as we continue our journey into the third decade of our new society.”