Mbombela - There is no grave big enough to bury the African elephant that was former president Nelson Mandela, Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza said on Friday.
Municipalities in the province had been instructed to open community halls for the public to pray for Mandela.
“His mortal material may have given up, but he will live among us in our memory,” Mabuza said in a statement.
“His spirit shall be with us forever, guiding us through the tribulations of life, and celebrating with us the gains achieved as we follow his footsteps.”
The premier also instructed municipalities to make available condolence books in which people could write messages.
Mabuza said a list of community halls open to the public would be available later on Friday, “but it will mostly be our town halls”.
He had established a co-ordinating committee, led by public works, roads and transport MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu.
“We have also established an operational centre of co-ordination at the Ehlanzeni district. At local level, mayors will establish operational centres.
“We request that everyone who wants to co-ordinate any activity around the mourning of our icon must touch base with these centres so that necessary assessment and arrangement may be done to ensure the safety of the people, and that the activity is conducted in a dignified manner.”
Mabuza said religious leaders would be consulted to lead the province in prayer.
“As people of Mpumalanga and the entire country, we are indeed saddened, but we are celebrating his contribution and that of other fellow comrades of his generation.
“He is one of the finest leaders the ANC and Africa has ever produced. He will surely be missed, but lives on as long as we live,” he said.