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Brighton resident discovers Mandela letter sent in 1990
5:00am Monday 16th December 2013 in News
A former Amnesty International member has discovered a long lost handwritten letter from Nelson Mandela sent the year he was released from prison.
Carol Irvin, 69, from Cedar Gardens in Brighton, found the letter while looking through old files of paperwork.
The letter, addressed personally to the British public, talks about Britain’s support for South Africa at the time of Mandela’s release.
It is dated April 16 1990.
Nelson Mandela, who spent more than 27 years in prison, wrote: “We are so pleased with the overwhelming generosity of the British public, and we would encourage the continuation of this help at this important moment of our history.”
Carol, who couldn’t comprehend why she received the letter, said: “I must have been sending them money and giving them moral support.
“I was a member of the African National Congress and would receive Christmas cards as well.”
Carol is a talented poet and sent a poem she had written about the apartheid regime to President Botha when Mandela was in prison.
She said: “I’ve been involved with Amnesty International for a long time.
“I’m a keen campaigner and travelled to Gambia 10 years ago where I met the Ministers of Justice from Sudan and Zimbabwe. I definitely gave them a piece of my mind.”
A celebration event of Mandela’s life was held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on December 10, with more than 90 representatives of foreign states attending the televised memorial event.
Mandela’s body in state for three days last week from Wednesday to Friday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and a state funeral was held yesterday in Qunu, South Africa, for the former president.
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