Mandela’s Memorial: Dozens of World Leaders Descend on Johannesburg’s Soccer City


Of all the remarkable scenes prompted by the death of Nelson Mandela, one of the most astonishing will happen inside the VIP section at his memorial service Tuesday and his funeral Sunday. The full list of foreign heads of states and royalty released by the South African government runs to 84 countries — a literal A to Z of the world — as well as several international organizations.

For the host, South Africa, the guest list also throws up some intriguing, and some awkward, seating possibilities for the main memorial on Dec. 10. How will Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s experience of American pressure compare with that of Afghan President Hamid Karzai? Maybe they could open the discussion to a round table with U.S. President Barack Obama, and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

It might get awkward if the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, finds himself…

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