Leaders to attend memorial for Mandela

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : December 9, 2013, 09:10 | Updated : December 10, 2013, 09:15
Leaders from 28 countries will attend a public memorial for former South African President Nelson Mandela, which is scheduled to be held in Johannesburg on Dec. 10 (local time), a minister at the South African presidential office said Sunday.

A South Korean delegation, led by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, left Seoul Sunday to attend the memorial service, the Office of the Prime Minister said.

In the United States, the White House said President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle will be joined by his predecessors George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will also fly to Johannesburg, after his trip to France, media reports said.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen left for South Africa Sunday.

Others to attend the memorial include British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles; Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott; Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto; Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito; and former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Also attending the service include celebrities such as talk show host Oprah Winfry; U2 lead singer Bono; and U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. 

About 80,000 people are expected to attend the service, according to a report.

Meanwhile, crowds gathered to lay tributes outside the home of Mandela in Johannesburg, reports said. South African anti-apartheid icon Mandela died peacefully in Johannesburg on Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was 95.

He will be buried at his ancestral home in Qunu on Dec 15. 

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