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Over 90 heads of state to visit South Africa
December 9, 2013, 10:31 am

[Getty Images]

Most of the leaders are due to attend a huge memorial service on Tuesday [Getty Images]

The South African government said on Monday that 91 world leaders will visit the country this week to honour the late Nelson Mandela.

At least 91 heads of state and 10 former heads of state have said they are coming to South Africa this week, Government International Relations Spokesman Clayson Monyela announced on Twitter.

International and regional organisations from the United Nations and European Commission to the African Union have also confirmed attendance, according to the Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane.

Most of the leaders are due to attend a huge memorial service in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Brazilian and Indian Presidents, Dilma Rousseff and Pranab Mukherjee and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao will lead delegations from the BRICS nations.

President Rousseff will be accompanied by four former heads of state, Jose Sarney, Collor de Mello, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Lula da Silva.

On December 15, a funeral service will take place at Mandela’s home and final resting place at Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95, the government announced late on Thursday.

The iconic leader, known to millions as Madiba, grew frail over the past year and narrowly recovered from critical lung failure in late June.

“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 colors of the South African flag,” said Chabane.

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama will also be accompanied to the funeral by three former presidents, Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton.

“From today we will see the arrival of a large contingent of heads of state and government and a broad range of eminent persons, including royalty,” said Chabane.

Source: Agencies

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