New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday described Nelson Mandela as the “last of the giants who led the world’s struggles against colonialism” as he led an Indian delegation, which included Congress president Sonia Gandhi, to South Africa for the memorial service of the anti-apartheid icon.
In a departure statement, the president said he was leaving with sadness for the memorial service to be held in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
The delegation accompanying the president includes Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and MPs Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Satish Chandra Mishra of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as well as senior government officials.
The President said participation in the memorial service by a delegation representing a cross-section of the political spectrum “reflects the high degree of love and respect which Mandela commanded in India”.
“He was a household name and someone, we saw as one of our own,” President said. (IANS)