Mandela's Christmas party ends in chaos

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- World statesman Nelson Mandela's annual children's Christmas party thrown at his childhood home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape of South Africa ended in chaos Sunday after realising that lives of the thousands of guests who showed would be in danger.
Organisers said 75,000 people -- 50 000 more than had been catered for -- turned up at the event.
For the first time, Mandela had not been present as he was at a Johannesburg hospital where his son was admitted two weeks ago.
No one was killed in the crush at the party but police were forced to hit children and their parents with batons to prevent a stampede.
Most people left without receiving gifts.
Two years ago the event was also marred by similar chaotic scenes, when 20,000 people turned up and children were hurt in a stampede that forced security guards to cut down fences.
There was no reaction from the host about the incident.

20 december 2004 09:16:00

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