Iranian Vice President, FM to Attend Mandela Memorial Service
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A high ranking delegation, comprised of First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will attend the memorial service of the late African anti-apartheid iconic leader, Nelson Mandela, on Tuesday.
The Iranian Ambassador to South Africa Mohammad Faraji said that the Tuesday four-hour commemoration service for the late South African president will be held at Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, where a large number of world leaders will bid him farewell for good.
Mandela, who brought an end to white-minority rule by becoming the first black president in 1994, died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night at the age of 95.
Noting that a number of other Iranian officials, too, will be in the delegation, Faraji said that Soweto’s Soccer City Stadium is where Mandela had his last public appearance during the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The Iranian ambassador also said that a day later, on Wednesday, December 11, the popular African leader’s body would be put on display in a glass coffin for the people and the South African officials to bid him a last farewell in Pretoria.
At least 50 world leaders are expected to take part in an extraordinary four-hour memorial service to honor Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The memorial service throws up almost unheard-of challenges for the South African government and the international security services mandated to protect their VIPs.
The government has confirmed that any member of the public is welcome to the stadium without prior accreditation. In a bid to prevent terror scares, a large portion of Johannesburg’s arterial roads and airspace will be closed.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the South African foreign minister, said there had been “unprecedented interest” in attending the service.