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Zuma snubs UK Mandela memorial

A special memorial service is being held in honour of Madiba at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says South Africa will be represented by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and two ministers at a special memorial service being held in honour of Nelson Mandela at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday.

The Business Day is reporting that President Jacob Zuma was initially expected to attend the landmark event and its original date was changed to accommodate him.

But the presidency now says he's unable to make it.

Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela says Zuma is not the only head of state who is not attending Monday's memorial.

"Prince Harry will represent the Queen at the service, she won't be attending."

Monyela says the delegation was never going to change.

"I'm not aware of any point in time in the past that there was ever a message sent out that this delegation was going to change."

The service will be attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband, as well as many other leading politicians.

Members of the Mandela family are expected to fly to London for the service.

The address will be given by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The service is the first service of its kind being held for a non-British citizen.

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