Paet to Represent Estonia at Mandela Memorial Ceremony Tuesday
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet sent his condolences to his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the occasion of the death of former president Nelson Mandela, and confirmed on Sunday that he would be attending the memorial ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“We have lost one of the bravest people of our recent times. Mandela made the world a better place,” Paet said in a press release on Friday.
The confirmation that Paet would travel to South Africa was made on Sunday through the Foreign Ministry's press office. Mandela's funeral will be next Sunday.
The 95-year-old Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life in prison on political charges, played a leading role in ending apartheid, the practice of forced segregation based on race, in his country.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and served as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. In the years since his 2004 retirement, he had acted as an elder statesman and devoted time to charitable work such as combating poverty and HIV/AIDS.