Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin visited the Liaison Office of South Africa in Taipei Tuesday to convey condolences on behalf of the Republic of China
government over the death of former President Nelson Mandela. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late Tuesday that Lin was accompanied by Vice Minister Simon Ko and Wang Chien-yeh, head of the ministry's Department of West Asian and African Affairs, when he went to sign the book of condolences. South Africa's representative to Taiwan Musawenkosi Aphane was present to receive the visitors. According to the ministry, Aphane thanked Taiwan on behalf of his government as President Ma Ying-jeou
's message of condolence was the first from foreign heads of state to be delivered to Pretoria, an indication of affection for the late former president and of the importance attached to Taiwan's friendship with South Africa. Aphane explained that the South African government, working according to the country's customs, did not issue invitations to any foreign governments for Mandela's funeral, which was held Tuesday in Johannesburg, but the government would not turn away anyone who wanted to attend the service, according to the ministry. Mandela died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.