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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs