"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Only an iconic statesman of Nelson Mandela's stature could be honoured by the glamorous and powerful

Superstars from every field imaginable, many of whom had crossed the
Atlantic, turned out to honour the charismatic former South African
leader at a dinner in a marquee in London's Hyde Park.

though, the elder statesman had a private audience at Buckingham Palace
with an old pal - the British monarch. As they shook hands warmly, Mr
Mandela, showing a flash of his famous charm, told his royal host: "You
look younger every time I see you".

Clearly delighted with the compliment, the Queen went on to joke: "It's very nice weather - arranged just for you."

What had been organised especially for the anti-apartheid hero was the
evening gala he hosted, which packed more star power than the red
carpet on Oscar night.

Hollywood was represented in abundance as Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Forest Whitaker, Uma Thurman and Denzel Washington lined up to pay homage to the great man.

Elsewhere Elton John was seen catching up with Oprah Winfrey, while political figures among the guests included Bill Clinton, in town with his daughter Chelsea, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Having prepared the food for the evening Gordon Ramsay joined
the party, mingling with the likes of Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton,
who escorted American singer Nicole Scherzinger, and Bob Geldof.

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