Tutu: Mandela would have been 'appalled' at exclusion of Afrikaners from funeral

2013-12-18 08:19

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nelson Mandela would have been appalled at South Africa’s Afrikaner community’s exclusion from his funeral, Desmond Tutu has charged, also questioning the leading role handed to the ruling ANC.

Tutu said Mandela had been given “the send-off he deserved” but apologised for the failure to match the icon’s renowned openness by not including the country’s main white Afrikaans church.

“Madiba would have been appalled, for he was quite determined to be inclusive,” said Tutu, referring to Mandela’s clan name, in a statement late Monday.

While the funeral itself was “superb“, Tutu also challenged the leading role of ruling African National Congress officials at the main events.

“I also believe it may have sent out a more inclusive message had the programme directors at the memorial and funeral – both national and state events – not both been senior office bearers of the ruling party,” he said.

Known for his no-holds barred frankness, Tutu has been openly critical of the South African government.

At the last minute, he reversed a decision not to attend Sunday’s burial after saying he was not going because he had not been invited.

Tutu singled out the failure by faith leaders to include a representative from the white Dutch Reformed Church – which supported the apartheid system – at Mandela’s official memorial and state funeral.

Only a few sentences in the Afrikaans language were used in the final benediction, he said.

“The most blatant exclusion was of the Afrikaner community,” said Tutu, who hosted Mandela on his first night after his release after 27 years in apartheid prison.

Mandela had reached out to the Afrikaans community, he said, whether lunching or having tea with widows of apartheid presidents or donning a Springbok rugby jersey.

An Afrikaans verse of the former apartheid national anthem was also retained in its multi-lingual successor adopted after the 1994 all-race elections.

“To the extent that I can do so meaningfully, I apologise to our sisters and brothers in the Afrikaner community,” Tutu said.

Mandela, he said, “went out of his way to ensure Afrikaners felt part of the new nation we were building.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.