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Will Cameron apologise for his visit to apartheid South Africa?

12 February 2010

Our latest post for Left Foot Forward.

On the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the Prime Minister said in a statement that Mandela remains an example that gives people the hope to “struggle anew” for “justice and freedom for all”.

Thumbs up? David Cameron is being urged to apologise for a "sanctions-busting jolly" to Apartheid South AfricaDavid Cameron, however, was under pressure to apologise for a visit he made to apartheid South Africa from former anti-apartheid campaigners Richard Caborn MP and ex-TUC general secretary Norman Willis.

It emerged in a biography last year that he visited the country as the guest of anti-sanctions lobbyists in 1989, when Mr Mandela was still in jail. According to PA:

“Your trip, paid for by lobbyists against sanctions, was a long time ago,” [Caborn and Willis] wrote. “But it was then, and is now, a question of values and judgment.”

Since the details of this trip became public, you have refused to comment on it, refused to explain why you had to keep it quiet and refused to apologise for your actions.

“We hope that on the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release, you will set the record straight and do what is right.”

Last year, Peter Hain told the Independent on Sunday that Cameron’s trip was a “sanctions-busting jolly“.

by David Taylor

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