Oprah, Bono among celebs en route to SA

Comment on this story

IOL pic dec8 mandela oprah


Former South African president Nelson Mandela poses with television personality Oprah Winfrey in Henley, Johannesburg, on December 6, 2002. File photo: Juda Ngwenya

Johannesburg - Fifty-three heads of state and government have so far confirmed attendance at upcoming memorial events for peace icon Nelson Mandela, South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Sunday.

The dignitaries will include US President Barack Obama, along with three former American presidents, Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff, French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

There has been “unprecedented interest” to attend the statesman's funeral after his death on Thursday night, Nkoana-Mashabane told a news conference in Johannesburg.

Many leaders will attend a memorial service on Tuesday at the Soccer City stadium, where Mandela made his last major public appearance during the 2010 football World Cup.

A smaller group would travel to the Nobel peace laureate's rural childhood village Qunu for his funeral service and burial next Sunday.

Scores of dignitaries are also expected to attend, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Martti Ahtisaari, Lakhdar Brahimi, Mary Robinson.

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and singer-activist Bono, as well as Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel are expected to be among the celebrity mourners.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Britain's Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth II, will also attend. - AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.


Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory