Desmond Tutu Will Attend Mandela’s Funeral

A spokesman for the retired archbishop had announced early Saturday that he would not attend the funeral.

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Desmond Tutu at the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013

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Updated: Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:33 p.m. ET: The Associated Press is reporting that retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu announced late Saturday that he plans to attend the funeral of his long-time friend and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. A spokesman did not explain Tutu’s reversal, but said he would catch an early flight and arrive on time for the funeral Sunday in the village of Qunu.

Earlier:

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, will not attend the funeral of his long-time friend Nelson Mandela on Sunday because he did not receive credentials, his spokesman said, the Daily Mail reports.

It was unclear why Tutu, who spoke earlier this week at a memorial service for Mandela in Johannesburg, was not granted credentials. 

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

On Saturday, the African National Congress paid tribute to Mandela at a ceremony at Waterkloof air base, on the Southern outskirts of Pretoria. The military delivered Mandela’s flag-draped coffin to the ANC during the ceremony, which included a multifaith service and a musical tribute, and was broadcast live on South African television, the Mail says.

Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa, praised the anti-apartheid leader, recounting the liberation struggle. Mandela, he said, had the rare ability to put theory into practice. He will be buried in his home village of Qunu.

“He did something that is not easy to do,” Zuma said, the Mail reports.

Read more at the Daily Mail.

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