The delegation is likely to include UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister Anand Sharma and CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, official sources said. (Agencies)
There were reports that Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav may also be part of the delegation which will leave on Monday night to attend the memorial service on Tuesday. While the funeral is scheduled to be held in Mandela's childhood home, Qunu village in the Eastern Cape and will be a private affair, leaders from across the world will be paying their tributes to 95-year-old Nobel laureate, who died on December five, at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
India was the first foreign country that he had visited after his 27-years in prison. Highly regarded in India, the South African leader had always termed Mahatma Gandhi as pioneer of his anti-apartheid movement. Mandela, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, was recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
In his condolence message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described his as a "giant among men" who not only represented the conscience of the world but also remained a beacon of hope for those struggling against oppression and injustice long after he had led his own people to victory over such ills.
The popularity of the leader could be gauged by the decision of the South African government which has capped the number of delegation from every country to six including the heads of state.
Memorial events for the statesman, who dismantled the apartheid regime and served as South Africa's first black president, will also be held across the country between 11-13 December.
The delegation is likely to include UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister Anand Sharma and CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury, official sources said.