Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he won’t be attending Nelson Mandela’s funeral because he was not invited. The Associated Press has the story:
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Preparations for Nelson Mandela’s funeral have been marred by a public spat between the South African government and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, one of the most prominent survivors in the long anti-apartheid struggle.
Tutu, a Nobel laureate who has strongly criticized the current government, said in a statement Saturday that he will not be attending Mandela’s funeral, even though he wishes to pay respects to his longtime friend.
He says he was not invited — an apparent snub that the government vehemently denies.
“Much as I would have loved to attend the service to say a final farewell to someone I loved and treasured, it would have been disrespectful to Tata (Mandela) to gatecrash what was billed as a private family funeral,” Tutu said in the statement. “Had I or my office been informed that I would be welcome there is no way on earth that I would have missed it.”