Canada has denied an entry visa to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, pictured, who was scheduled to be keynote speaker at a fund-raising gala in Toronto yesterday.
The event features an opera about her life.
Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, had packed her bags and was about to head for the airport when the Canadian embassy notified her that she would not be allowed to enter the country, organisers of the Toronto event said.
"No reason was given," said Carole Adrianns, event director for MusicaNoir, an organisation that raises awareness about Africa through cultural projects. "The family was confident they would get a visa," she said.
Immigration officials in Ottawa were not available for comment.
Adrianns said she was "blown away" by the visa denial. Madikizela-Mandela had gone to New York on May 19 where she received an award for her work in addressing HIV-Aids and related issues.
"It would have been such an honour to have had her there," she said. - Reuters