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Brent Council to award Nelson Mandela with the freedom of the borough

PUBLISHED: 18:30 24 June 2013 | UPDATED: 18:30 24 June 2013

Nelson Mandela will be given the freedom of the borough by Brent Council tonight (Pic credit: PA)

Nelson Mandela will be given the freedom of the borough by Brent Council tonight (Pic credit: PA)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former South African president is honoured for his fight for freedom, democracy and fairness

Former South African president Nelson Mandela will be given the freedom of the borough by Brent Council tonight.

The 94-year-old, who is critically ill in a hospital in Pretoria with a lung infection, will become the second person in Brent to be given the honour following a vote at a town hall meeting this evening.

Mr Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, after being released from prison in 1990.

The anti-apartheid campaigner had served 26 years in prison for fighting to end segregation in his homeland.

Last year, the former artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre Nicholas Kent became the first person to be awarded the freedom of the borough.

He was recognised for transforming for the playhouse in Kilburn High Road.

Cllr Mohammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, told the Times Mr Mandela was put forward to receive the honorary title in 1990 but there weren’t enough yes votes from councillors.

He said: “This is the last council meeting in the current town hall so we are taking the opportunity to put things right.

“Mr Mandela is being honoured for his fight for freedom, democracy and fairness which is what Brent and its diverse population stands for.

“Brent is home to many people who have fled persecution and considering Mr Mandela has been persecuted himself this is a fitting title for him.”

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