9/26/14 Former Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela joins guests as they toasted in celebration of her 78th birthday party held at Vilakazi's street in Soweto. Picture:Paballo Thekiso
CAPE TOWN - Deputy President David Mabuza met with the leaders of opposition parties on Tuesday and encouraged them to "join hands in ensuring a pleasant and befitting send off for Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela", the presidency said in a statement.

"In his meeting today, Deputy President Mabuza thanked leaders of political parties for their unwavering support and commitment to honour Mama Madikizela-Mandela and the conduct of various members of the public displayed at various memorial events taking place throughout the country," the statement said.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, National Freedom Party secretary general Nhlanhla Khubisa, and Raymond Tlaeli, the African Christian Democratic Party leader, attended the meeting. 

Mabuza briefed the opposition leaders about the the state of readiness for the official memorial for Mam' Winnie, more affectionately known as mother of the nation.

"Following the sad news of the passing of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 in line with Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy.  In this regard, Mama Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral will have elements of both military and ceremonial honours."

All logistical arrangements are being overseen by an inter-ministerial committee in consultation with Madikizela-Mandela's family. 

"Deputy President Mabuza will deliver the official address at the Official Memorial Service on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto while President Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the official funeral."

African News Agency/ANA