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The BBC's Catherine Marston
"Everyone seemed genuinely pleased to see him"
 real 56k

Monday, 30 April, 2001, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Mandela honoured in Leeds
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela visited a garden named after him
Nelson Mandela has been made an honorary freeman of Leeds as part of the celebrations marking the seventh anniversary of the end of apartheid.

Thousands turned out in the city centre to cheer the former South African president on his first official visit to the north of England.

Nelson Mandela dancing in Leeds
Nelson Mandela joined the dancing on stage
Dr Mandela also rededicated the city's Mandela Garden, which first opened in 1983 in support of South Africa's struggle for equality.

At a two-hour open air concert in Leeds, the 82-year-old statesman took the stage to a hero's welcome.

Dr Mandela told the crowd that the garden reminded him of his childhood.

"That's one thing that makes me be in peace with myself, to be in peace with the entire world and to be in peace with the people of Leeds. I thank you very much."

His visit to Yorkshire follows an appearance at an open-air concert in London on Sunday to mark South Africa Freedom Day.

Giving thanks

About 20,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square for Sunday's free concert, headlined by acts such as REM, Mel B and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Concert in London
Some 20,000 revellers turned out for the concert
Mr Mandela watched the show from the balcony of South Africa House, previously the scene of round-the-clock anti-apartheid protests.

Officials at the commission had organised the concert, in aid of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Prince's Trust, as part of a six-week Celebrate South Africa festival.

At the concert, Mr Mandela paid tribute to Britain's role in bringing apartheid to an end.

He added that it was important to remember the anti-apartheid protesters who "stood alone" in their efforts to help the people of South Africa.

"Now we are liberated, we are brushing shoulders with the mighty and the rich and may forget those who pioneered the battle for liberation for our country."

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30 Apr 01 | Entertainment
Mandela's concert message
30 Apr 01 | Entertainment
Picture gallery: Mandela concert
28 Apr 01 | Music
REM relish Mandela concert
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