News / Africa

ANC Grateful for Global Presence at Mandela Memorial Service

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the crowd during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the crowd during a memorial service for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The spokesman for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) says the party is grateful to the heads of state and government as well as people around the world who showed their support during the memorial service of anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela.

Jackson Mthembu said the large number of leaders in attendance shows the impact former president Nelson Mandela had on South Africa and the entire world. 

“We were very honored and also humbled by the world coming and gracing this memorial service of Madiba,” said Mthembu. “[They] all came to pay their respect to Madiba because of what he represented: freedom, social justice, a caring world,…but also South Africa that is at peace with itself, and South Africa that can even get better.”

More than 80 heads of state and government attended the memorial ceremony, including U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

“South Africans have appreciated the presence of the world leaders in their midst as we celebrate and mourn a life well lived,” said Mthembu.

Tuesday was a work day in South Africa, but many fully participated in one way or another to paying their respects to their former leader, said Mthembu.          

The remains of Mandela are scheduled to lie in state at the seat of government, the Union Buildings in Pretoria Wednesday. Mthembu said the week’s memorial events were well planned to meet the expectations of Mandela’s family and of all South Africans.

“The other services that are planned including the laying of our [former] president in state starting [Tuesday] up to Friday, we think information has been given to the South African public, and also to our national partners and other governments of the world about all these activities,” said Mthembu. 

However the ANC leader condemned a section of the public who booed President Jacob Zuma as he delivered his tribute to Mandela at the memorial service. Mthembu said the ANC and other opposition parties are displeased with the booing, which he said was disrespectful.

“We don’t know what was behind these behaviors that are alien, because as South Africans we would have expected all of us to treat this activity of Madiba with respect and give it the dignity it deserves,” said Mthembu. “I can tell you that all South Africans have frowned [upon] this alien behavior. But again these behaviors were not able to disrupt the service.”

Some political observers say President Zuma was booed because of his government’s failure to keep its promises and by recent accusations that Zuma spent $200 million in taxpayer money to renovate his home. But, Mthembu said it was inappropriate for people to disrespect Mandela’s memorial service in spite of their displeasure with the current president.

“The platform can’t be right for that,” said Mthembu. “This was supposed to be a solemn send off for Madiba. All of us had gathered there just for that one purpose, nothing and nothing else. So anybody who came with some political program that wanted to undermine this [memorial service] is totally condemned.  All South Africans are condemning that behavior.”
Clottey interview with Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesman
Clottey interview with Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesmani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Eaglekiss
December 11, 2013 6:24 PM

I hate it that so many people are jumping in to share the glory and the limelight reserved for the dead hero. He fought against Apartheid, which was good. But it was his compromise with the whites that was better, which brought about peace and stability for both whites and blacks! What if he had persisted in following
Communism or Islamic terrorism? He would have been put to death like Arafat of Palestine or disgraced like Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam! He was converted by the smart whites in the same way God converted Paul on the Damascus Road! It was lucky for him and his people that the whites had been very patient with him: 27 years of reasoning and persuasion! Finally he was convinced when he witnessed the collapse and bankrupcy of communism and terrorism, the ideals and strategy he had been following. So what is much ado about this man?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs