On 5 December 2013 former president and father of the modern South African nation Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away. This sad but deeply important occasion was of global significance and of particular importance to South Africa. In order to properly record this event, Wikimedia ZA decided to send two Wikimedians to cover the event for the greater Wiki-community.
On the 9th, 10th and the 11th of December 2013 Wikimedia ZA sent two team members to cover the 10 day mourning period for former president Mandela in Gauteng. Our two Wikimedia correspondents got together in Johannesburg to apply for press cards, and then went on to apply for the media accreditation required to attend proceedings.
On the 10th the team attended the memorial held at FNB Stadium in Soweto (Soccer City) along with thousands of others attending the service. Unfortunately only selected media houses were able to capture diplomats and VIP guests, but the team was able to capture many photographs of groups and individuals attending the ceremony. We also made a recording to try and capture the spirit in the stadium.
The Wikiteam joined international and local media houses at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to witness the ‘lying in state’ period. However a spokesperson for the presidency advised that only a pre-selected list of media would be granted access to the auditorium where the body was held. We were later granted access with the general public but no cameras or recording devices were allowed. Considering that a pre-determined attendance list was already in place, the team decided it would not be beneficial to cover the proceedings at Qunu.
Photographs of these days can be found on Commons in the category: Death and state funeral of Nelson Mandela.
In addition to taking photographs of the event we also: