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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 18 January, 2003, 04:39 GMT
Mandela Aids concert cancelled
Nelson Mandela
Mandela was due to host the concert
An Aids benefit concert first proposed by Nelson Mandela and slated to feature a host of international stars has been cancelled.

The event was due to have taken place next month on Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Mr Mandela spent 18 years in prison.

There has been an inability of the organisers to deliver whatever they need to deliver

Denise Philip
Nelson Mandela Foundation
It was called off because of a disagreement between its funders and organisers.

The concert was to have been relayed on a screen to 30,000 people in a stadium in Cape Town and on television around the world.

Denise Philip, a spokeswoman for the former South African President's Nelson Mandela Foundation, which was funding the event, said: "There has been an inability of the organisers to deliver whatever they need to deliver."

Star line-up

The star-studded line-up for the concert included artists such as U2's Bono, Elton John, Macie Gray and Shaggy.

Robben Island
The event was going to take place on Robben Island

Queen and The Eurythmics were also expected to take part.

Bono, Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics and The Clash frontman Joe Strummer, who died last month, had written a song in tribute of Mr Mandela, which was going to be performed at the concert.

"We were overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response to Madiba's [Mr Mandela's] call by the international artists who rose to the occasion to offer support for this proposed historic Human Rights Concert," said John Samuel, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

"We have, however, concluded that the concert cannot take place since the proposed producers were not able to come to a satisfactory agreement with the foundation," he added.

Targeting Aids

Mr Mandela launched the event with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey last month.

Bono
Bono was among the artists due to take part

"We got rid of apartheid," he said, "now the time has come to rid the world of Aids."

All the money raised was going to go to Mr Mandela's foundation, the UN agency UNAids and the Robben Island Museum.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV/Aids in the world, with one in five adults infected with the virus.

Researchers warn that up to seven million people in the country could die from the disease by 2010 unless drastic action is taken.

See also:

20 Dec 02 | Entertainment
28 Nov 01 | Africa
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