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Barack Obama to speak at annual Mandela lecture in Johannesburg

Barack Obama to speak at annual Mandela lecture in Johannesburg

About 4 000 people were expected to attend.

The news was announced by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and chief executive, Sello Hatang, said the foundation had been looking for someone with "an Africa heritage" to deliver the address.

Obama will reportedly give a commemorative speech to honor Nelson Mandela's birthday in Johannesburg on July 17, and it's speculated he will speak on "tolerance, inclusivity and democracy".

"We thought who can (better) represent the legacy of Madiba than the person who we believe took on the baton when he became president of his own country", Hatang, using Mandela's clan name.

Mandela would have turned 100 this year.

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The Nelson Mandela Foundation announced the presence of the first black USA president at the lecture on Monday which is themed: "Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World".

He served one term as South Africa's president before stepping down in 1999.

Meanwhile, former President Nelson Mandela's personal assistant Zelda La Grange said that as the world marks 100 years since Madiba's birth, it needs to do self introspection as the world has dropped its moral bar.

Former speakers include Kenyan Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan to name a few.


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