Dec 09, 2013
By Jane Brown
A Canadian delegation paying final respects to Nelson Mandela is due to arrive in South Africa this morning. The Canadian contingent is headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and includes a host of notable politicians. Among them are former Prime Ministers Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Kim Campbell. “I’m honoured to have with me all of these former prime ministers and this is a great story,” Harper explained on board the plane, “It tells you about the long and leading history of Canada from the days of Mr. Diefenbaker on, and the struggle that defined Nelson Mandela’s life, the struggle against apartheid and the transition of South Africa to a modern non-racial state, something we should all be very proud of.”
Former prime minister Joe Clark was Brian Mulroney’s foreign minister when his government pushed South Africa to free Mandela. Clark is already in South Africa.
The delegation will be among world leaders attending a memorial for Mandela in Johannesburg on tomorrow and will be in Pretoria on Wednesday when the former president’s body lies in state. A state funeral will be held on Sunday for Mandela, who died last Thursday at the age of 95.