World leaders pay their final respects to Africa’s fallen hero

By Farai Diza in Johannesburg

Cuban President Raul Castor almost had a heart attack when Barack Obama became the first US President to shake the hand of a Cuban leader since the Bay of Pigs.
Cuban President Raul Castro places a hand on his heart as he almost gets a heart attack after  Barack Obama became the first US President to shake the hand of a Cuban leader since the Bay of Pigs at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Leaders from almost 100 countries around the world, royalty and celebrities were among the hundreds of thousands of people that converged at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to pay their last respects to former South Africa President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at a memorial service held in his honour.

The venue was also coincidentally the last public place that Mandela was seen during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the memorial service was the largest event ever to happen in Africa’s history. The date of his memorial was held on the day that he signed South Africa’s constitution into law in 1996 and on the day that the world marked the international human rights day.

The global leaders present included Britain’s US President Barack Obama, the heir to the British throne, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales who represented his mother Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister David Cameron, Malawi’s Joyce Banda, France President Nicholas Sarkozy, Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

Other notable dignitaries who were present included United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Africa Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former British Prime Ministers John Major and Gordon Brown, former United States presidents Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan and Henry Kissinger.

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