Around fifty-three Heads of Government have confirmed their attendance to the state funeral to be held in tribute to the late former president Nelson Mandela, next Sunday at Mandela’s home in Qunu, Eastern Cape Province, as was his will. The coffin will parade through the streets of Pretoria from December 11 to 13, for South Africans to be able to pay their last respects.
Among the leaders who have confirmed their attendance to the funeral are: Barack Obama (USA,) Dilma Rousseff (Brazil,) Enrique Peña Nieto (Mexico,) and Prince Felipe de Borbon, heir to the Spanish throne.
Also, tomorrow is scheduled a massive tribute to Madiba at the Stadium in Johannesburg where the final of the World Cup 2010 was played. It is expected an attendance of 80,000 people.
In recent days, the figure of Mandela was the subject of tributes of the National Day for Prayer and Reflection. In several churches, mosques, and synagogues around the world, prayers have been raised and songs have been sung in his honor. Besides, hundreds of people have come to his last residence in Johannesburg to place messages of love, flowers, balloons and pictures.
The Methodist church service was held in the Johannesburg suburb of Bryanston, where President Jacob Zuma praised the values of the statesman. “He believed in forgiveness and he forgave even those who kept him in prison for 27 years,” said Zuma. Madiba’s death occurred on Thursday, December 5, after a long illness which affected his lungs. He was 95.