Brazil leaders to attend Mandela memorial

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iol news pic UMS01_MANDELA-_1209_11


Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff (C) poses for photos in Rio de Janeiro with former Brazilian Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L), Fernando Henrique Cardoso (2nd R) and Fernando Collor (R) before flying to Johannesburg to attend the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela. REUTERS/Roberto Stuckert Filho/Brazilian Presidency/Handout via Reuters

Brasilia - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, accompanied some of her predecessors, flew off to South Africa Monday to attend the memorial service for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

The presidential office said Rousseff was accompanied by ex-presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2002), Fernando Collor de Mello (1990-1992) and Jose Sarney (1985-1990).

“It is an honor to be able to gather all the former presidents for a common objective: Mandela,” the president said on her Twitter account.

More than 100 heads of state and government - current and past - as well as scores of celebrities and heads of international organizations had by Monday confirmed their presence at Tuesday's memorial ceremony for South Africa's ex-president Mandela, who died last week aged 95.

The service will be held in the FNB stadium in Soweto.

Brazil, a member of the BRICS group of emerging powers along with China, India, Russia and South Africa, has decreed seven days of mourning in honor of Mandela.


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