Nelson Mandela has paid tribute to Michael Jackson, describing the star as “a close member of our family”.
The former South African president also paid tribute to how Jackson had managed to “triumph over tragedy on some many occasions in his life”.
Mandela’s comments about Jackson were read out at the star’s public memorial service in Los Angeles by Smokey Robinson.
You can read the full letter below:
“Dear Jackson family,
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Michael became close to use after he started visiting and performing in South Africa regularly.
We became fond of him and he became a close member of our family. We had great admiration for his talent and that he was able to triumph over tragedy on some many occasion in his life.
Michael was a giant and a legend in the music industry and we mourn with the millions of fans worldwide. We also mourn with his family and his friends over the loss of a dear friend. He will be missed and memories cherished of him for a long time.
Robinson also read out a letter from Jackson’s close friend Diana Ross, who did not attend the star’s memorial.
Follow the event as it happens now on Gigwise’s live blog here. Michael Jackson's Last Goodbye - PHOTOS
Follow the event as it happens now on Gigwise’s live blog here.
Michael Jackson's Last Goodbye - PHOTOS