JOHANNESBURG – Some members of Canada’s delegation in South Africa to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life are being left out of Tuesday’s memorial service for the former president.
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The prime minister’s office says Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, as well as four provincial premiers and several MPs who made the 18-hour journey for Tuesday’s service, won’t be allowed into the Soweto stadium for the event.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the decision was made last night by the South African protocol office.
A total of 11 Canadians are being allowed into the FNB stadium, where thousands of people began streaming into as daylight broke over a rainy Johannesburg.
They include the prime minister and his wife, former governors general Adrienne Clarkson and Michaelle Jean, former prime ministers Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Kim Campbell and Joe Clark, Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo and Canada’s high commissioner to South Africa and his wife.
Before heading to the stadium, Harper had an informal breakfast with Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and John Key from Australia and New Zealand.
Harper’s spokesman Carl Vallee did not say what the leaders spoke about.
Delegations from more than 100 countries are expected to fill a stage that was quickly set up for the memorial.
- The Canadian Press