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

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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?

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora