More than 100 heads of state and government – current and past – as well as scores of celebrities and heads of international organisations were expected to attend the memorial service commemorating the life of former South African president Nelson Mandela at the 95,000-capacity Soccer City in Johannesburg
Here are those who made it on and the guest list
Heads of state and government:
1. David Cameron, who said that meeting with Mandela in 2006 was “one of the greatest honours of his life”. He paid his respects on Thursday evening, and asked Downing Street to fly the flag at half mast. Ed Miliband Labour leader and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, attended. The Royal Family confirmed that Prince Charles will attend the state funeral of Mandela on Sunday, while David Cameron represented Britain at the public memorial today. The Queen offered her condolences as she has decided not to attend.
2. Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle and 26 members of Congress, delivered a speech at the event. He has previously described Mandela as a “personal hero” and an inspiration to his career.
3. Controversy surrounds French president, François Hollande, and former head of state, Nicholas Sarkozy, as it was reported they are taking separate flights to the memorial. Sarkozy turned down an invitation to make the 11-hour trip with Hollande.
4. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who met Mandela on numerous occasions and said he was a “giant for justice” and a “human inspiration”.
5. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who praised Mandela as a “wonderful man”,was joined by Joachim Gauck, German president.
6. Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, was criticised for not lowering the official flags after hearing of the death of Mandela on Friday, but has assured they will fly at half mast for the memorial.
7. José Manuel Barroso, EU Commission president, promised to “honour his memory by reaffirming our collective commitment to uphold the values of true democracy”.
8. King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, will be accompanied by Franc Timmermans, the foreign minister.
9. Crown Prince Felipe and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain rescheduled commitments to fly together to the memorial. Spanish King Juan Carlos met Mandela for the first time in 1992 where he awarded him the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.
10. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president,attended with three former heads of state, describing Mandela as the “greatest person of the 20th century”.
11. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority leader, who paid tribute to Mandela as a “symbol of freedom from colonialism”.
12. Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian president, who described Mandela as “an icon of inspiration for humanity”.
13. Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, called Mandela as a “champion of the oppressed” on Saturday, after previously commenting in a documentary in May that he was “being too saintly” and too soft on whites after the end of apartheid.
1. Peter Gabriel and entrepreneur Richard Branson, who took an idea to Mandela which led to the formation in 2007 of The Elders, an organisation working towards peace and global rights.
2. Bill Gates, the philanthropist co-founder of Microsoft, attended.The billionaire has mademultiple visits to South Africa. He spoke with Mandela extensively about Aids and fighting the stigma attached to it.
3. U2 frontman Bono, who worked with Mandela on the Make Poverty History campaign, which hosted the Live 8 concert celebration in 2005. He recorded ‘Ordinary Love’ for ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Mandela’s biographical film, which was premiered in London on the evening of his death last week.
4. Oprah Winfrey, the chat-show host, who visited Mandela at his home, described her relationship with him as a friend, mentor and inspiration. After discussions with him about poverty and education, he inspired her to create a leadership academy for girls in Johannesburg.
5. At least two of the Spice Girls, who met Mandela in a visit with the Prince of Wales to Johannesburg in 1997, where he famously described them as “my heroes”.
6. Annie Lennox, who appeared at the 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert and the 46664 concerts in 2002, inspiring her to take part in charitable and activist work with Sing Foundation.
7. The supermodel Naomi Campbell became one of the former South African President’s “honorary granddaughters” after they met in 1993, and they worked on a number of charity projects together.
Former heads of state and government:
1. Gordon Brown – the former prime minister said Mandela was “the greatest leader of our generation … a leader of unshakable optimism”.
2. Tony Blair, who praised Mandela for his ability to make “everyone feel at home and at ease”, noting his address at the Labour Party Conference in 2000. “He had a quiet humility to him.” However, Mandela strongly opposed the Iraq war, causing tensions between the pair in 2003.
3. Sir John Major, who was prime minister during Mandela’s state visit to Britain in 1996, which featured a meeting with the Queen and 10,000 people turning up to see him visit Brixton.
4. Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will attend both the public memorial, and the state funeral on Sunday, following annual visits to South Africa. Mandela attended Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, and Vice-President Al-Gore led a delegation at Mandela’s inauguration in 1994.
5. Former US president, Jimmy Carter, another member of The Elders, said his first words upon their meeting in Ethiopia in 1990, were to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter, Amy.
6. George W Bush disagreed with Mandela over the Iraq War, but both were passionate about combating Aids in Africa. Mandela visited the White House twice during Bush’s tenure.
1. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and wife Sara have announced they will not attend. Despite originally confirming their attendance, spokespeople for the prime minister claimed the visit will cost $2 million and the short time frame did not allow for the proper security arrangements.
2. Russia, Syria and Libya have yet to confirm if they will send anyone to either event.
3. The Dalai Lama is to miss the memorial, with spokesmen noting that it is “logistically impossible at this time”. He visited Mandela in 1996, but since then has had two visa applications to South Africa declined.
4. Pope Francis has not confirmed whether he will be attending.
5. Fidel Castro, a long-time friend of Mandela, will not attend. President Raul Castro will however travel for the state funeral.
Bono and Charlize Theron
Japan Crown Prince Nahurito and delegation
Picture: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach