JOHANNESBURG – International heads of state and royalty have begun arriving in South Africa, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Sunday.
“The fact that international leaders are making their way to South Africa at such short notice reflects the special place president Nelson Mandela holds in the hearts of people around the globe,” he said in Johannesburg.
“We are touched by the fact that many countries have declared periods of mourning, ordered that flags be flown at half-mast and draped or lit landmarks in the colours of the South African flag. We truly appreciate these gestures.”
Chabane said South Africa appreciated the willingness shown by people mourning, reflecting, and celebrating Mandela’s life and legacy.
“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 United Nations, European Commission, and African Union had also confirmed attendance. Chabane said 11 eminent persons would also be in South Africa during this period.
US President Barack Obama would be accompanied by three of that country’s former presidents: Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton and their spouses, and 26 congressmen.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff would be accompanied by four former heads of state.
“We expect more confirmations, and we wish to reiterate that our international guests are most welcome as they join us at this difficult time,” said Chabane.
Drogba salutes soccer fans as he wears a jersey in sign of respect for Nelson
Galatasaray pair Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue are set to be punished by the Turkish FA (TFF) for the Nelson Mandela tributes that followed their team’s 2-0 victory over Elazigspor on Friday.
Former Chelsea striker Drogba paid his respects to the former South African president and freedom fighter, who died on Thursday aged 95, by removing his Gala jersey to reveal a vest which read ‘Thank You Madiba’.
Drogba’s fellow Ivorian Eboue, formerly of Arsenal, followed suit, donning a vest which read ‘Rest In Peace Nelson Mandela’.
Galatasaray`s Emmanuel Eboue from Ivory Coast wears a t-shirt in honor of late former South African President Nelson Mandela
The TFF forbids the display of t-shirts bearing political slogans and messages during football matches.
Players from Fethiyespor were recently charged for wearing T-shirts with the words ‘Great Ataturk’ – in reference to the country’s first president, the secular reformer Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
SW Radio Africa has obtained exclusive video footage showing a number of police recruits in Zimbabwe being beaten in a series of sickening assaults by what appears to be their instructors. In one horrifying attack, a recruit is pinned down by six officers with one stepping on his back as laughing instructors whip and kick the defenseless man.