Parliament to hold extraordinary session to honour Mandela

Andisiwe Makinana

Members of the public may attend a special joint sitting of Parliament at 2pm on Monday to commemorate former president Nelson Mandela.

Well-wishers outside Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton on Friday, December 6. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Parliament will hold a special joint sitting of the two houses – the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – on Monday December 9 to honour and commemorate former president Nelson Mandela. The sitting will start at 2pm.

Under the rules of Parliament, speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu and NCOP chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu, acting jointly, may call a joint sitting of the houses when necessary.

"The passing of an iconic world statesman, a political, moral and intellectual colossus of Madiba's stature, more than justifies the convening of a special sitting of Parliament, even during recess," the presiding officers said.

Additional space will be found in Parliament to accommodate members of the public who wish to be part of the extraordinary session. Seating in the National Assembly is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Parliament is in recess and was due to reconvene on February 13 2014 with a state of the nation address by President Jacob Zuma.

Books of condolence will be made available at various venues within the precinct and all flags within Parliament are flying at half-mast. This arrangement will remain in place until after the funeral.

Various spaces will be designated to enable members of the public to show their last respects for the duration of the mourning period and a special exhibition will be mounted across Parliament.

Special telephone lines 021 403 2502/2621/2833 have been activated to assist members of the public who need information regarding arrangements about Madiba's funeral and memorial services.

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