'Long way to go' on race in S. Africa: Mandela friend

27th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

A former prison comrade of Nelson Mandela said Wednesday there was "a long way to go" on race relations in South Africa, as he and others received a high-profile honour in London.

Denis Goldberg, an anti-apartheid activist who was jailed alongside Mandela in 1964 and was his friend for over half a century, said South Africa had come "a tremendously long way" since the end of apartheid in 1994.

"But the racial segregation was burnt into the minds of every South African," he added. "There is still a long way to go."

Goldberg, who is 82, made the comments as he and fellow activist Ahmed Kathrada received the freedom of the City of London alongside their former lawyers George Bizos and Joel Joffe.

Previous figures given the honour include Mandela himself plus Britain's World War II prime minister Winston Churchill and Diana, princess of Wales.

The freedom of a city is a symbolic honour given to individuals to recognise their contribution to society.

The City of London has been giving out the honour since 1237.

Its freemen have the right to drive sheep and cattle over London Bridge, which crosses the Thames, but this and other such arcane privileges are seldom exercised.

Among others attending the ceremony was Mandela's granddaughter Tukwini.

"There's a lot of work that still needs to be done in South Africa but I'm hopeful," she told AFP.

"The young people of South Africa are really hopeful about South Africa's future and they really want to contribute to the political process so my feeling is one of great hope."

Former South African president Mandela died at the age of 95 in 2013.

© 2016 AFP

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