Today 09 December
South Africa's parliament rang with handsome, heartfelt tributes to Nelson Mandela on Monday, but also warnings against failing to live up to his legacy. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told the house, in which Mandela's grandson Ndaba was present, that the anti-apartheid icon's dream had not ended with his victory in the all-race election of 1994 nor with his death. "After the outpouring of grief, the celebration of and reflection on Nelson Mandela's life, we will have to answer the question as to how we advance towards that dream," he added.
South Africa struggled Monday to meet the unprecedented logistical challenge of hosting close to 100 world leaders flying in from every corner of the globe for the state funeral of freedom icon Nelson Mandela. "The world literally is coming to South Africa," said the government's head of public diplomacy, Clayson Monyela. "I don't think it has ever happened before," Monyela said of the wave of 91 leaders, including US President Barack Obama, bearing down on the country. Reflecting the depth and breadth of Mandela's popularity, the event will see political foes Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro share the same stage in paying tribute to one of the towering political figures of the 20th century.
Port Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP) - South African traditional leaders are calling on the government to allow adequate space for customary burial rites when Nelson Mandela is finally laid to rest Sunday. "On Sunday next week, when we put him in his grave, all the rituals will be conducted by the Royal House," Xhosa traditional leader Nokuzola Mndende told AFP. Mandela was born into the Thembu royal family, the leaders of a Xhosa-speaking people. "All the taking at the grave will be done by the Mandela clan elders," Mndende explained.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama headed to South Africa on Monday to speak at a national memorial service for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. He was joined on Air Force One by former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa says United States President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be among world leaders speaking at a mass memorial service for Nelson Mandela.