Executive Mansion, Monrovia
President Ellen Johnson departs this evening for Johannesburg, to join Kings, Queens, Presidents, Heads of State and Government, and millions of sympathizers for the State Memorial Service of the first black and former President of South Africa and global icon, Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5th, in his 95th year.
President Mandela, who led the struggle against South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime, was jailed for 27 years, and emerged from prison to become South Africa’s first democratically elected President in 1994, stepping down after serving a single term.
According to an Executive Mansion release, on Tuesday, December 10, President Sirleaf will attend the State Memorial Service of the late former President, Nelson Mandela, at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, to which Kings, Queens, Presidents and Heads of State are invited.
On Wednesday, December 11, there will be the Lying-in-State for the official viewing of the mortal remains of the late Madiba, at the Union Buildings, in the capital, Pretoria.
The State Funeral will take place on Sunday, December 15, at Madiba’s ancestral village of Qunu, Eastern Cape – a 14-hour drive from Pretoria – to which the 80 to 100 Heads of State expected are not obliged to attend as the village does not have the necessary facilities to accommodate everyone and their entourage.
Because of their many years of promoting human rights and democracy, both Dr. Amos Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission, and Dr. Togba Nah-Tipoteh, a prominent Liberian politician, have been invited to play roles in commemorating the homegoing of the former South African President. Dr. Sawyer will accompany the President to South Africa, while Dr. Tipoteh will work, on the ground, with South Africa’s Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Masilo Esau Mabeta, to organize activities commemorating Mandela’s life. Dr. Tipoteh had accompanied the President to South Africa for Madiba’s 90th birthday celebration. Also on hand will be Liberia’s Ambassador in South Africa, Cllr. Lois Brutus.
President Sirleaf returns home on Friday, December 13. While she is away, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Amara Konneh, will chair the Cabinet in consultation with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr.