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Key, four others in NZ delegation to Mandela's funeral

Prime Minister John Key will lead a small group of New Zealanders to pay respects to Nelson Mandela at his official memorial service in South Africa.

On Friday, Mr Key told RadioLive Drive host Duncan Garner he might consider asking John Minto to accompany him.

But the veteran anti-tour protestor is not in the final lineup, which is: Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples; Labour leader David Cunliffe; former PM Jim Bolger; and former Foreign Minister and Secretary‑General of the Commonwealth Sir Don McKinnon.

An official memorial service will be held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday December 10. From December 11 to 13, Mr Mandela's body will lie in state at South Africa's seat of government, Pretoria's Union Buildings, before a private burial in Qunu on December 15.

The New Zealand delegation will leave tomorrow and return later this week.

“Nelson Mandela was a global icon for freedom who united South Africans following apartheid,” Mr Key says.

“Madiba’s achievements demonstrate what can be attained through forgiveness and reconciliation. His vision for South Africa was one of freedom and equality. It remains an inspiration to the world.

“This distinguished delegation reflects the mana of Mr Mandela, and the highest regard in which New Zealand held him.

“New Zealand has a close friendship with South Africa, built on the solid foundation of Commonwealth, sporting and personal ties. New Zealanders felt an emotional connection with Nelson Mandela and our sympathies are with the people of South Africa at this difficult time.’’


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Comments and questions

In relation to the official New Zealand delegation to Mandelas funeral; I sincerely hope that John Minto has been included. If we are truly to honour Mandela surely we must put at the head of our delegation a man that Mandela would most definitely have chosen to be at his send off. John Minto had a personal connection with Mandela and contributed significantly to the fight against apartheid. He showed huge courage and personal sacrifice. It shows enormous arrogance and lack of intelligence on the part of the PM to leave him out.

I would think Minto and the likes of Penny Bright are just about the last people Zuma would want at the funeral. They are what Stalin and Mao called useful idiots and people they particulary despised. The righteous fury of Minto and Bright shows just how stupid and fanatical they are. I mean we read now the Valerie Morse reason for burning the flag on Anzac day behind the rails while, Anzac Day supporters screamed hate, was that she opposed NZ intervention in Timor, Solomons and Peacekeeping in Iran and Afghanistan. I agree for the polar opposite reasons. In terms of the Solomons and Timor, I was particularly opposed favouring the position of Stalin off Warsaw and Blake off Ireland , that it was in our better interests to stand off and allow the totally useless to be destroyed. I mean it could be argued experience gained in likely geographical areas of future battle might be useful, but it was neither the right issue or time. In terms of Afghanistan and Iran I judged the mission would inevitably fail like all the Helen Clark ideas of peacekeeping and peacemaking. In terms of Bradfords position on intervention militarily and socially she may actually want to slowly destroy those sort of people as much as hard right, thats my suspicion.
But in terms of Mandela's rememberance, I would have sent just Bolger with 3 old All Blacks from each side of the debate Laidlaw, David Kirk and Mourie and on the other side Meads, Kirkpatrick and Leslie, ( maybe Haden if he was their in 86). We could relish the mindlowing hypocrisy from each side as Laidlaw, KIrk and Mourie wallowed in the Bullshit and bathed in the adoration or the fashionable communists and seekers of the moment and listen to pathetic crap as Meads, KIrkie and Leslie pathetically crapped their only past legitimacy by selling out to the good feeling lies of the left. We should listen to all the tripe of the last few days in a few years as SA degenerates to about the same level as Mugabes ,Salisbury and Bulloway.