Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A statue of former South African leader Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in a ceremony attended by UK premier Gordon Brown and the Lord Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone in Parliament Square.
In a speech Gordon Brown, who had private "catch up" talks with Mr Mandela on Tuesday, paid tribute to the 89-year-old, calling him the "greatest and most courageous leader of our generation".
The statue was unveiled and Mandela was assisted to a podium by Mr Brown and others, where he made a speech. Addressing Mr Brown, Mandela said he wished him "strength and great wisdom for your term of office".
He went on to say it was an honour to have a statue in Parliament Square alongside Winston Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli, and he hoped it would "symbolise all those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country".
Mandela then announced that his international AIDS campaign, called "46664" after his prison number during his 27-year incarceration in South Africa, was to hold a concert in Hyde Park, London, on 27 June 2008, in honour of his 90th birthday. He declared he would be returning to England to see it.
Mr Mandela ended his speech with his trademark "I thank you" before a musical gospel-style group performed.
== Sources ==
"Nelson Mandela statue is unveiled" — BBC News Online, August 29, 2007