(PRETORIA, South Africa) — As former South African President Nelson Mandela continues to receive treatment at a hospital in Pretoria, a “lost” song recorded to celebrate the civil rights leader’s release from prison 23 years ago has been released for the first time.
Called “The People Want Mandela,” the song is described as the South African equivalent of “We Are the World.” It was recorded by some of South Africa’s top musicians in 1990, following Mandela’s release from Victor Verster Prison.
Nic Hofmeyr, who shot and edited the music video, writes in the Mail and Guardian that the song was not released earlier because of political pressure.
“The National Party government was not happy to have a possibly hugely popular Madiba [as Mandela is affectionately known] song on the airwaves,” he explains.
Hofmeyr has now released the song and music video on YouTube.
Meanwhile, no update has been issued on the condition of Mandela, who has been at Mediclinic Heart Hospital since June 8 for a recurring lung infection.
South African President Jacob Zuma last visited Mandela on Monday and said the 95-year-old remains in critical condition but “shows sustained improvement.”
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Mohammed Tawfeeq, Joe Sterling and Susanna Capelouto, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
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Mohammed Tawfeeq and Gul Tuysuz, CNN