African National Congress flags flown to honour Nelson Mandela's connection to Haringey

Haringey Independent: The former MP for Tottenham Bernie Grant with Nelson Mandela at Oliver Tambo's house in Muswell Hill back in 1990. Taken from Sharon Grant's Twitter feed. The former MP for Tottenham Bernie Grant with Nelson Mandela at Oliver Tambo's house in Muswell Hill back in 1990. Taken from Sharon Grant's Twitter feed.

Special South African flags will be flown at half-mast across Haringey today to honour the death of Nelson Mandela and his connection to the borough.

The flags of the African National Congress (ANC) will fly above Haringey Civic Centre, Bruce Castle Museum and Alexandra Palace.

They mark the passing of Mr Mandela, who died last night at the age of 95.

The ANC flag will also fly in Albert Road Rec, at the memorial to Madiba’s close friend and anti-apartheid campaigner Oliver Tambo, who lived in Muswell Hill for more than 30 years.

Mr Tambo was the official ANC leader for decades while Mr Mandela was in prison and lived at the house in Alexandra Park Road from 1960 to 1990.

As well as it being a family home, it was a refuge and meeting place for ANC activists and Mr Mandela stayed there when he first came to London in 1962.

He returned to Muswell Hill in 1990 after he was released from prison and met with the MP for Tottenham Bernie Grant.

In 2010, the home was bought by the South African high commission for almost £1.7million and is now used for accommodation by a senior staff member.

Jacob Zuma, the South African president, was shown around the three-storey Edwardian house during his state visit to Britain, also in 2010.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober said: “The world has lost a hero, but Nelson Mandela’s passing is tinged with the pride of the people of Haringey who contributed so much to the anti-apartheid struggle.

“We were privileged that Oliver Tambo and his family made Haringey their home as they continued in exile to campaign for a free society – regardless of colour or creed.

“Today we pay tribute to one man who changed the world forever and has a special place in the hearts of the people of this borough.”

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