South Africa parliament to pay tribute

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Members of the Kaiser Chiefs football team arrive at Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to pay tribute. 9 Dec

South Africa’s parliament is to meet to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, as world leaders prepare for Tuesday’s national memorial service.

The sitting comes at the start of a week of commemorative events before a state funeral on 15 December.

More than 100 current or former heads of state or government are to attend either the memorial or the funeral.

On Sunday, millions took part in a “day of prayer” to remember the country’s first black president.

Monday’s parliament sitting will be a special session.

Mr Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and grandson Mandla are both MPs of the African National Congress but it is unclear whether they will attend.

ANC spokesman Moloto Mothapo said: “We hope some members of the Mandela family will be there.”

FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, who shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Mandela, has been invited.

World leaders

Over the next eight days, a series of events will commemorate the man who steered their country out of white-minority rule.

The foreign ministry has confirmed that 91 current heads of state or government have confirmed they are coming to South Africa, along with “10 former heads of state, 86 heads of delegations and 75 eminent persons”.

US President Barack Obama, Francois Hollande of France and UK PM David Cameron will be among those attending Tuesday’s memorial at a Soweto stadium.

 

 

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