Tutu to miss good friend Mandela's burial after being "left out"
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African peace icon Desmond Tutu is to miss the burial of his friend Nelson Mandela, the archbishop's office said on Saturday, amid allegations he was not invited for political reasons.
"The archbishop is not an accredited clergyperson for the event and will thus not be attending," the Nobel laureate's daughter Mpho Tutu told AFP.
Tutu's aide Roger Friedman refused to comment on media suggestions that Tutu was excluded because of criticism of the ruling ANC, saying only that "he is presently not planning to attend". But the presidency insisted that Tutu was on the list of invited dignitaries to the burial.
"I have been checking and he is definitely on the list," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told AFP, saying he was "taken aback" by the news that the man known fondly as the "Arch" was not invited.