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"Madiba funeral a BRICS affair"

12 December 2013, 09:52

Nairobi - While millions of Kenyans continued to mourn the late fallen South African icon, Nelson Mandela, some sections felt the funeral arrangements at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday were meant to “please” the BRICS nations.

The BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Most of the leaders from these countries attending the events addressed the crowds.

“In my opinion, I would like to think that the memorial service for Mandela at FNB Stadium was turned into a BRICS affair. I only appreciated the line-up when the African Union Commission (AUC) chairman Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon spoke," Omega Kiplagat said.

Marcia Kemboi, echoed Kiplagat’s sentiments.

"It made sense for Namibian president Hifikepunye Pohamba to speak on behalf of SADC region, but I'm of the opinion that Asia, Europe and the American continents could have been represented than flooding the memorial service with BRICS speakers," Kemboi said.

Kaplaan Kiogora said the funeral was supposed to be "simply" funeral than to become "political" business.

“In my opinion, I think the organisers chose to promote the BRICS business than focusing on giving a befitting funeral service to the international Mandela icon we all know. I think this is why the people who attended the funeral service booed South African president Jacob Zuma. It was unfortunate that the attendants booed Zuma, but equally, they sent the right message,” Kiogora said.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, critics accused South Africa of snubbing President Goodluck Jonathan at the funeral service by not giving any opportunity from West Africa to deliver a tribute in Mandela’s honour.

The development sparked anger on social media as many Nigerians expressed concern over the organisers' position not to grant Nigeria space to speak by virtue of being the representative of West Africa, more-so, being the second largest economy in Africa.

Nigerian political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, also expressed concern in a Twitter post stating, “No show” for Nigeria as well as“relegation” in foreign affairs.

"When OBJ (former President Olusegun Obasanjo) grows to be 120 years old and dies, let us pay back by making sure SA’s President doesn’t speak at his funeral- If s/he comes,” Omojuwa argued.

- CAJ News


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