Preparing for Nelson Mandela's Funeral
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Preparing for Nelson Mandela's Funeral

Where Mandela will be buried is still being speculated; it might be in the Mandela Graveyard in Qunu; it might be at his home in Qunu, it might be in Mvezo, around 30km away from where Madiba (Mandela) was born; and of course there is a slight chance it might be somewhere for statesmen, like Pretoria. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) call their preparations "The M plan". They have the first option on accommodations for 60 people at the museum in Qunu. But Mandela isn't dead yet; the world will just have to wait patiently for the death of the 94 year old Nelson Mandela, currently as reported by DigitalJournal in hospital with a recurrence of lung infection.

Qunu, Nelson Mandela's home town, and Mthatha, about 30 km away, and everything in between, are undergoing new developments and rushes in preparation for Mandela's funeral.

According to Huisgenoot, although there will probably be an official state funeral for Mandela in Pretoria, it is Xhosa tradition for a man to be buried close to his home in the town he grew up in.

Mthatha's Airport has been upgraded with R450 million of government money. It should be completed early in April 2013.

The new runway is 3,6km long and wider than the previous one. It can now carry a Boeing 747 in order to accommodate all the mourners from the world over.

A new airport building and parking area is also part of the upgrade.

Between Qunu, Mandela's home town, and Mthatha there is a new, broad tar road being built.

There is also a new petrol station, with a café and fast food joint.

Where Mandela will be buried is still being speculated; it might be in the Mandela Graveyard in Qunu; it might be at his home in Qunu, it might be in Mvezo, around 30km away from where Madiba (Mandela) was born; and of course there is a slight chance it might be somewhere for statesmen, like Pretoria.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) call their preparations "The M plan". They have the first option on accommodations for 60 people at the museum in Qunu.

But Mandela isn't dead yet; the world will just have to wait patiently for the death of the 94 year old Nelson Mandela, currently as reported by DigitalJournal in hospital with a recurrence of lung infection.

Mandela's death will most likely be an almost unprecedented global event, with every living US president, the British prime minister and other world leaders expected to attend his funeral. International broadcasters have drawn up so-called "M-plans", staking out locations, pre-booking hotels and transport, and signing up pundits for the occasion.

Therein lies discord. The collision between grief and the media's desire to be first and best with its coverage has already produced some ugly clashes. Some South Africans complain that it is vulture-like and "un-African" to discuss the death of someone still alive, while journalists insist they have to do their jobs and that viewers and readers will demand coverage over those historic few days.

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