SANDF mum on Mandela coffin tracking

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Prison wardens and members of the public watch as the procession carrying the coffin of Nelson Mandela makes its way past Pretoria Central Prison. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force would not comment on Wednesday on reports that former president Nelson Mandela's coffin is being tracked during transport using radar, Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.

A fully-equipped Oryx helicopter flew above Mandela's coffin as it made its way to and from the Union Buildings on Wednesday morning.

The helicopter was reportedly fitted with radar equipment to follow its movement between the Union Buildings and 1 Military Hospital; and also when it is moved to Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

SANDF spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said the Mandela family and the nation should be given space to mourn and lay the former president to rest.

“The SANDF is not going to discuss security-related matters with the media,” Mabanga said.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

His body will lie in state at the Union Buildings until Friday. He will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.


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