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Sat Nov 29 10:35:00 SAST 2014

Tutu not going to Mandela's funeral in Qunu

Sapa | 14 December, 2013 08:16
Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu pays tribute to Nelson Mandela during a news conference in Cape Town.
Image by: STRINGER / REUTERS

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation declined to comment on why Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will not attend former president Nelson Mandela's funeral in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

"We are not planning to make further statements on the matter," the foundation said.

Tutu's daughter and foundation CEO Mpho Tutu, confirmed to the Saturday Star that her father would not be going to Qunu for Sunday's state funeral.

"The archbishop is not an accredited clergy person and will thus not be going to Qunu," she was quoted as saying.

The newspaper reported there was speculation that Tutu had been snubbed because of his outspoken criticism of the current government.

Tutu was also left off the official programme for the Mandela memorial held at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday.

However, at the last minute he was asked to give a blessing at the end of the memorial after the crowd had become disruptive and booed President Jacob Zuma.

The archbishop reprimanded the crowd for its behaviour.

"I want to show the world we can come out here and celebrate the life of an icon," a visibly angry Tutu shouted at the crowd.

"You must show the world that we are disciplined. I want to hear a pin drop."

As he spoke, some people in the crowd started talking and Tutu pointed at them and shouted.

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

Mandela died at his Houghton home in Johannesburg last Thursday, aged 95.

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