More than 100 heads of state and government — current and past — as well as scores of celebrities and heads of international organisations have confirmed their presence at a memorial ceremony for former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died last week aged 95.
“By noon today, 91 heads of state and 10 former heads of state confirmed they will attend the memorial at FNB Stadium” on Tuesday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane told the SAPA news agency.
Only Britain’s Prince Charles has so far announced his presence at the funeral itself, to be held Sunday in the southern village of Qunu where Mandela spent his childhood.
The following are among those who have confirmed their presence at Tuesday’s event:
- US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Three predecessors, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with Secretary of State and former first lady Hillary Clinton, will also be present.
- French President Francois Hollande, accompanied by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron
- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
- President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmud Abbas
- Cuban President Raul Castro
- Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
- Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara
- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai
- Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki
- Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
- German President Joachim Gauck
- Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati
- Chinese Vice President Liu Yuanchao
- Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid
- Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain
- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa
- Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
- British Prince Charles
- The King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander
- Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik
- Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
- Saudi Prince and Second Deputy Prime Minister Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
- Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito
- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
- Chair of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
- European Union President Herman van Rompuy
- Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi and ex-Irish president Mary Robinson will represent the group called The Elders, founded by Mandela in 2007.
- US talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey, singer and activist Bono, British singer Peter Gabriel and British magnate Richard Branson are among the stars attending the ceremony.
- The Dalai Lama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, father of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro