The world pays tribute to Mandela (slideshow)
As South Africans come to terms with the loss of former president Nelson Mandela, the rest of the world bids farewell to Madiba.
Pimples: Saving Madiba's rabbit (video)
Gwede, Mac and Blade try their best to stop the rabbit from whispering in Mandela's ear. But the elusive animal has some tricks up its sleeve.
Zapiro's best Madiba cartoons (slideshow)
From his toughest moments to his most triumphant, Madiba has been an inspiration. Here are some of our favourite Zapiro cartoons about him from 1994 to 2013.
Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
The releases of Walter Sisulu and seven other political prisoners are expected to begin on Sunday - and the Mass Democratic Movement is planning marches and rallies as part of massive celebrations to welcome them. The festivities will begin tomorrow when the Congress of SA Trade Union's long-planned 17 marches around the country against the Labour Relations Act will be partially transformed into "victory marches".
The MDM is in the process of establishing "reception committees" with offices around the country to organise the celebrations. These are expected to culminate in a mass meeting in the Eastern Cape at which all of the released long-term prisoners will be present. Speaking on behalf of a newly - launched National Reception Committee at a press conference in Johannesburg yesterday, National Union of Mineworkers leader Cyril Ramaphosa said the Mass Democratic Movement would make sure the prisoners come home to a welcome "befitting their status and stature in our struggle".
The releases, which may be staggered over a number of days or even weeks, are expected to take place at police stations near the houses of the prisoners. Oscar Mpetha comes from Cape Town, Raymond Mhlaba and Wilton Mkwayi from the Eastern Cape and Jafta Masemola from Pretoria, while the others - Walter Sisulu, Elias Motsoaledi, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni - are all from Soweto. However, the key question is how high a profile the eight long-term prisoners - seven senior African National Congress leaders and one Pan Africanist Congress member - will adopt after their release, and how the Security Forces will react. It is believed that this has been the subject of intensive discussions this week in Nelson Mandela's Paarl prison between cabinet ministers and Mandela, who is the only Rivonia trialist excluded from this week's release list, and between Mandela and the six other ANC leaders.
Mandela has met twice this week with Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee, twice with his fellow ANC leaders and once with MDM leaders. The government is pushing for the released prisoners to take a low profile - and are holding out the release of other prisoners, including Mandela, in return. They fear a threat to the security situation and are still concerned by the events after the release last year of ANC leader Govan Mbeki. Ramaphosa yesterday did not spell out exactly how the men would be welcomed, saying the Rivonia trialists were members of the ANC and would have to report to their organisation and consult with its "collective leadership".
Representatives of the MDM said they would give the lifers time to rest with their families and therefore did not know exactly what their political programmes would be. But said Peter Mokaba, president of the South African Youth Congress, "They are members of the ANC. We will be expecting them to act like leaders of the ANC." Ramaphosa warned the government not to refuse the men passports. He said the government would be indicating that it is not interested in reaching detente and resolving conflict if it barred the recently-released members of the ANC from crossing borders. It is believed that the ANC leaders and the MDM are weighing up the possible gains to be made by the exprisoners leading mass marches and public rallies against the implications for other prisoners and the likely Security Force response.
On the other hand, they have to take into account popular excitement being generated by the releases. The first signs of state reaction have caused some concern: Security Forces on Wednesday used teargas against youths gathering in Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, to welcome Mpetha, and broke up crowds that gathered at his house, saying they were "illegal gatherings". Slamming all speculation that the MDM could go softly on campaigns around the releases in order to secure the release of Mandela, Mokaba said: "The release of our comrades has to be unconditional. We are not aware of any condition that says the people must stop struggling in order that our leaders must be released. That is not what the comrades are asking us to do."
This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.