President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend the national memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg, a White House official announced Saturday night.
No further details were provided about their delegation or the president’s schedule, but they will be disclosed soon, the official said.
Former President George W. Bush and Bill ClintonBill ClintonSanders set for clash with Trump’s budget pick Scott Walker plans major welfare overhaul in Wisconsin Of biscuits and footballs: The perils of presidents and the nuclear codes MORE, along with their wives Laura and Hillary, are expected to attend memorial events as well.
Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, died late Thursday at age 95. He had suffered from poor health for a year.
Soon after the news broke, Obama delivered a statement from the White House in which he reflected on Mandela’s life, and called him an inspiration.
“Let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived — a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice."
Obama has spoken to current South African President Jacob Zumas and Mandela's widow Graca Machel by phone to express his condolences.