Saturday 19 April 2014

Tutu will not be at Mandela funeral

Desmond Tutu is a long-time friend of Nelson Mandela

Desmond Tutu will not be attending Nelson Mandela's funeral because he did not receive credentials to do so, a spokesman for the retired archbishop has said.

"The archbishop is not an accredited clergyperson for the event and thus will not be attending," Rev Mpho Tutu, the archbishop's daughter, said in a statement. She is chief executive of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is a long-time friend of Mr Mandela and occasional critic of the current government.

A spokesman for Mr Tutu refused to elaborate and said the retired archbishop himself would not be commenting.

Mr Tutu spoke earlier in the week at a memorial service to Mr Mandela held in Soweto.

Mr Mandela is to be buried on Sunday in his home village of Qunu.

Later, a spokesman for the South African presidency said Mr Tutu is definitely on the guest list.

He said he hopes a solution will be found that allows him to attend.

"Certainly he is invited," Mac Maharaj said. "He's an important person."

Press Association

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