OTTAWA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Saturday that he, together with his three predecessors, will travel to Johannesburg on Sunday to pay their last respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died two days ago.
In a statement, Harper praised Mandela as "one of the world's most respected political and moral leaders."
"Nelson Mandela was a model of humility, grace, and forgiveness who dedicated his life to the relentless pursuit of equality, justice and freedom for the people of South Africa," said Harper.
"His life and teachings touched Canadians deeply. His legend and legacy will undoubtedly inspire people from all walks of life for generations to come."
Harper said that former Canada's Prime Ministers Jean Chretien, Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney have confirmed that they will join his delegation to South Africa.
They will attend the public memorial for Mandela, which will take place on Dec. 10 in Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa, as well as his lying in state in Pretoria, the Capital on Dec. 11.
A book of condolence in honor of Mandela, who visited Canada three times and was granted a honorary citizenship, has been set up on Parliament Hill, on which Harper signed on Friday morning.
Mandela died on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection. He was the first democratically-elected president in South Africa, with an honor of the state father in the country.
Preparations in full swing for Mandela's funeral: government
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The South African government announced on Saturday that preparations are in full swing for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela.
Among the arrangements, Mandela's body is being prepared by the Military Health Service of the South African National Defense Force to lie in state at the Union Buildings from Dec. 11 to 13, said Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency. Full story
S. Africa to hold Mandela funeral on Dec. 15
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Friday announced Mandela's funeral will be held on Dec. 15.
The decision came after President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela's family in Johannesburg. Shortly before midnight on Thursday, Zuma announced the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at 20:50. Full story
Nelson Mandela has died at age 95
JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95 Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced in a televised speech to the nation.
"Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed," Zuma said. Full story