With world attention focused on Zimbabwe Nelson Mandela has spoken of work still to be done in combating oppression in Africa. He was speaking at a concert in London celebrating his 90th birthday.
It fell on the 20th anniversary of a similar event honouring Mandela while he was still in jail in South Africa. “Twenty years ago, London hosted a historic concert which called for our freedom. Your voices carried across the world and inspired us in our prison cells far away,” he told the crowd.
The concert was organised to support Mandela’s HIV/AIDS charity “46664”, named after his prison number. He told the audience that illness including AIDS and political oppression remain major world problems.
Mandela had been expected to speak about Zimbabwe during his visit to London. In a speech at a pre-concert dinner he spoke of the country’s “tragic failure of leadership.” He does not turn 90 until next month but this was an occasion for London and a host of stars to pay their own tribute to the revered statesman.