Day of prayers to farewell 'Madiba'

By Harata Brown

While John Key prepares to pay his respects to South Africa's “Father of the Nation,” he believes the delegation representing NZ is made up of those who best represent our country.

“I believe in the 5 people we are sending to South Africa we're gotta good blend of those who worked with Nelson Mandela from NZ perspective.”

Minister of Māori Affairs, Pita Sharples, is part of the delegation and says he'll be at the memorial service in Soweto to represent those who protested in NZ for the indigenous people of South Africa, such as those who protested against the Springbok Tour in 1981.

Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, who was a member of Ngā Tamatoa and involved in that protest, believes Mandela was a man who put apartheid grievances to rest.

“He relinquished their sins against the South African people, and that was huge. It was a move that resonated throughout the world, especially given the detrimental impact on him personally.”

International leaders and global figures will join thousands of ordinary South Africans for the memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, where Nelson Mandela made his final major public appearance during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.