Mandela’s fury over Iraq revealed

By staff

Nelson Mandela’s fury over the invasion of Iraq was laid bare today, with a report that the former South African leader was “breathing fire” over the issue.

Former Welsh secretary Peter Hain, who was born in South Africa and campaigned against apartheid for much of his career, said he received a call from Mr Mandela in which he argued passionately against the war.

Mr Mandela said: “A big mistake Peter, a very big mistake. It is wrong.”

The quote came in Mr Hain’s biography of Mr Mandela.

“He clearly felt very, very strongly that the decision the prime minister had taken – and I as a member of the Cabinet had been party to – was fundamentally wrong,” Mr Hain explained.

“He was virtually breathing fire down the phone on this and feeling a sense of betrayal. It was quite striking.”