Arch­bishop has not been in­vited to Madiba’s burial


Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - CRAIG DODDS

ARCH­BISHOP Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu, left off the of­fi­cial pro­gramme for the Nel­son Man­dela me­mo­rial in Joburg on Tues­day, has been snubbed again and will not be at­tend­ing the fu­neral of his long-time friend in Qunu.

The news broke yes­ter­day as world lead­ers pre­pared to travel to Qunu along with mem­bers of the Man­dela fam­ily, friends of the iconic states­man, and a huge press corps.

Tutu was asked at the last minute to give the bless­ing at the of­fi­cial me­mo­rial at FNB Sta­dium ear­lier this week, where he re­mon­strated with the crowd af­ter they loudly booed Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma when­ever he ap­peared on the gi­ant tele­vi­sion screens.

There has been spec­u­la­tion that Tutu, known for his fear­less op­po­si­tion to apartheid, was snubbed be­cause of his some­times out­spo­ken crit­i­cism of the gov­ern­ment.

His daugh­ter, Rev­erend Mpho Tutu, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Des­mond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foun­da­tion, con­firmed yes­ter­day that he would not be go­ing to Qunu.

“The arch­bishop is not an ac­cred­ited clergy per­son and will thus not be at­tend­ing,” she told Weekend Ar­gus.

It has been a dif­fi­cult time for Tutu, who was clearly dis­tressed by Man­dela’s death when he spoke to the me­dia the day af­ter the world learnt of his death. The cleric’s Mil­ner­ton home was also bur­gled for the sec­ond time while he was in Jo­han­nes­burg for the me­mo­rial.

Man­dela stayed with Tutu af­ter his re­lease from Vic­tor Ver­ster prison in 1990, fol­low­ing 27 years be­hind bars.

Tutu has presided at the fu­ner­als of ma­jor strug­gle fig­ures dat­ing back as far as those of Black Con­scious­ness leader Steve Biko in 1977, and PAC leader Robert Sobukwe in 1978, ANC leader Wal­ter Sisulu in 2003, and fel­low an­ti­a­partheid cleric Bey­ers Naudé in 2004.

Last night the Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (GCIS) could not say who would be pre­sid­ing at the fu­neral of Man­dela, who was a Methodist.

Ac­cord­ing to mil­i­tary pro­to­col for state fu­ner­als such as that be­ing ac­corded to Man­dela, the SANDF chap­lain-gen­eral, Bri­gadier Gen­eral Mon­wabisi Ja­mangile, will at­tend.

But it is not clear whether he will con­duct the ser­vice.

It is un­der­stood that at­ten­dance at the fu­neral is by in­vi­ta­tion only, af­ter the Man­dela fam­ily asked that it be kept as pri­vate as pos­si­ble.

Zuma and his cab­i­net will be there, along with for­eign dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing Bri­tain’s Prince Charles, US politi­cian Jesse Jack­son, Le­sotho’s King Let­sie III, Malaw­ian Pres­i­dent Joyce Banda, and Tan­za­nian Pres­i­dent Jakaya Kik­wete.

Speak­ing at a trib­ute to Man­dela in Jo­han­nes­burg on Mon­day, Tutu said the “best trib­ute each one of us can give is to em­brace the val­ues he gave us.

“He may not be phys­i­cally with us, but let us not make a mis­take and think he is not with us.

“Ours is to con­tinue to pro­claim the mes­sage of his val­ues… ● Women’s em­pow­er­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion Ilitha La­bantu and the Na­tional NPO Sec­to­rial Com­mit­tee host a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Multi-pur­pose Com­plex in Langa from 11am. ● The City of Cape Town will host a vigil at the Grand Pa­rade. Pro­ceed­ings start at 6pm. ● To be shown on a big screen in the Par­lia­men­tary precinct. Open un­til 6pm. ● View­ers at home can tune into SABC2, Par­lia­ment’s DStv chan­nel 408 or their YouTube chan­nel. The state fu­neral is set to start of­fi­cially at 9am. ● Other lo­ca­tions for fu­neral screen­ings: Grand Pa­rade; Vy­gieskraal Sta­dium, Athlone; OR Tambo Hall, Khayelit­sha; Swartk­lip Sports Com­plex, Mitchells Plain; and Wes­fleur Sports Com­plex, At­lantis. ● Hosted by mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille, from the Bo-Kaap Mu­seum to Prest­wich Me­mo­rial Square. From the square, the group will move to the fore­court at Cape Town Sta­dium, where a con­cert will be held. Events start at 11am. At noon De Lille and Cul­tural Af­fairs and Sport MEC Ivan Meyer will lay their hands in moulds to be set in a con­crete slab along the Fan Walk. The con­cert takes place from 1pm to 6pm. Whether it is easy or dif­fi­cult for us to do so,” Tutu said dur­ing a prayer ser­vice at the Nel­son Man­dela Cen­tre of Mem­ory.

On Tues­day, Tutu told the crowd at the FNB Sta­dium to “show the world that we are dis­ci­plined”, adding that he would not bless them un­til he could hear a pin drop.

“We prom­ise God that we are go­ing to fol­low the ex­am­ple of Nel­son Man­dela,” he said.

NOT IN­VITED: Arch­bishop Tutu

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