Tutu should not confuse funeral participation with accreditation – Chabane

2013-12-14 18:48

Government has denied that it has snubbed Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu by not inviting him to speak at former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral tomorrow.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane told journalists in Qunu that the religious part of the funeral programme was decided on by Mandela’s family as well as church leaders.

He also said Tutu was accredited to attend the funeral and that nobody had been sent invitations.

“The religious participation part of the (funeral) programme was finalised between church leaders and the family, not government. We didn’t comment on it,” he said.

Chabane hinted that Tutu might have been upset at not being offered a chance to speak at the funeral.

“It seems accreditation is confused with the opportunity to participate in the programme,” he said.

Chabane said government generated a guest list, and any VIPs on that guest list who indicated that they wanted to attend, could be accredited.

The guest list came from the Presidency’s database of dignitaries, a guest list submitted by the ANC, by the family, by religious leaders and Parliament.

Tutu was accredited for the memorial on Tuesday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, which also granted him entrance to the funeral in Qunu, and this was explained to him, Chabane said.

Tutu earlier cancelled his flight to East London after saying he hadn’t received any indication that he was on the funeral guest list.

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