Johannesburg – The funeral of the late African National Congress stalwart Albertina Sisulu will be held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday 11 June, the Presidency said on Sunday.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the funeral will be preceded by a number of official memorial services to be held in various venues around Gauteng.
Family spokesperson Mlungisi Sisulu said they had decided to use Soweto as the venue because the area was where the country “broke the back” against apartheid.
“My parents had lived in Soweto for a good 60 years and so they relate a lot to the people in Soweto,” he said.
MaSisulu, as she was affectionately known, died in her Johannesburg home on Thursday night at the age of 92.
Since the news of her death, tributes have been pouring from all sectors of society, with former President Nelson Mandela saying he was saddened by her passing.
She became the first deputy president of the ANC Women’s League in 1991 following the party’s unbanning.
At a prayer service held by the league earlier, Sisulu was described as someone who led from behind and never raised her hand to be elected in leadership positions.
Her husband Walter spent years on Robben Island, where he was detained alongside Mandela and other political prisoners.
Government has said she will be given an official funeral, owing to her contribution to the country’s struggle for liberation.
On Sunday, Chabane said a funeral preparatory committee, which consisted of the national government; Gauteng provincial government and the ANC, had begun working towards ensuring the success of the funeral.
“Condolence books are available from Monday, 6 June for people to record their thoughts on and feelings for Mama Sisulu,” he said.
The venues include the Union Buildings, Tuynhuis in Cape Town, the Sisulu residence in Orlando West and the family home in Linden, north of Johannesburg. – Chris Bathembu, BuaNews