Dozens of world leaders to attend Mandela’s funeral

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – One week before the funeral of global icon Nelson Mandela, heads of state and royalty have begun arriving in South Africa.

This was confirmed by Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, who said this "reflects the special place President Nelson Mandela holds in the hearts of people around the globe".

Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg on Sunday, he said the government was moved by the fact that many countries had declared periods of mourning and ordered that flags be flown at half-mast.

"To date, 13 African states have confirmed attendance, in addition to 15 from outside the continent," he said.

International and regional organisations, such as the UN, European Commission, and African Union have also confirmed attendance.

Among the confirmed attendees for next Sunday’s burial in Qunu in the Eastern Cape are US President Barack Obama along with former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. In addition 26 congressmen will attend.

One notable absentee will be the Dalai Lama – a close friend of Mandela – who has been denied a visa for South Africa on two occasions since 2009. His office refused to disclose the reasons.
-0- PANA CU/MA 8Dec2013

08 december 2013 20:09:57

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