Presidents of Malawi, Tanzania expected to speak at Mandela funeral

2013-12-12 12:49

President Joyce Banda from Malawi and Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete have so far been confirmed as speakers at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in Qunu on Sunday.

Banda will be speaking on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, while Tanzania was home to the ANC in exile.

Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda is also expected at the funeral, but it is not clear yet whether he will be speaking or not.

International Relations spokesperson Clayon Monyela said the programme for foreign dignitaries was not confirmed yet, but it is expected that the speakers will mainly be those who had close relations with the Mandela family and the ANC.

Although foreign dignitaries were encouraged to attend Tuesday’s memorial service, many were expected for the Sunday event too, Monyela said.

The number hasn’t been confirmed yet.

“Rwanda (president Paul Kagame) and Prince Charles (from England) did not come to the memorial service, but they are both expected at the funeral,” he said.

Monyela said the number of foreign dignitaries streaming in to South Africa to bid Mandela farewell not only spoke to the stature of Mandela, but also of South Africa.

“If people did not have confidence that SA could pull off this kind of operation, they would have stayed at home,” he said.

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