In a somewhat surprising development Canada has refused to permit Winnie Mandela a visa. She was due to give a keynote address in Toronto at a fund raising event that also featured an opera based on her life.

While Winnie Mandela is certainly no stranger to controversy, particularly after being convicted of the murder of a 14 year old activist back in 1991, it is still somewhat odd that Canada would take this hard stance.

The US had no problems with admitting her into the country last month for an Aids related event. Apparently Winnie Mandela was literally leaving her home to drive to the airport when Canadian officials informed her of their decision.

Winnie Mandela who is now in her 70’s was a strong opponent of the apartheid regimes in South Africa, both her and her husband Nelson became public critics of the gross inequalities suffered by the native people.

So far the Canadian government has not commented on this latest development, and it will be interesting to see what sort of backlash this decision causes. For further reading check out this article.
Simon Barrett

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