Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela was attended not just by the people of South Africa. Dozens of world leaders also made the journey to Johannesburg.
euronews special correspondent in South Africa, Francois Chignac, spoke to Laurence Alexandrowicz from Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.
Laurence Alexandrowicz, euronews: President Barack Obama has hailed Nelson Mandela as “a giant of history” but he also criticized those leaders who are paying their respects to Mandela, as a man of peace, but they themselves are oppressing their own people. Could the spirit of Mandela be felt by the heads of state today?
Francois Chignac: It could, and it continues to be felt. The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon said in his speech, that even in death Nelson Mandela has managed to unite politicians. More than 90 world leaders are here, we’ve seen Barack Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro, we saw Obama alongside George Walker Bush, we saw Francois Hollande side by side with Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese are next to Chinese, Iranians are standing with Arabs and Turks … all these political leaders are here to pay their final tribute to Nelson Mandela.