4 Nov 2013

Mandela film premieres in South Africa

4:02 pm on 4 November 2013

A feature film about the life of Nelson Mandela has premiered in Johannesburg.

Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, largely based on his autobiography of the same title, traces the life of the anti-apartheid hero from his childhood in the rural Eastern Cape to his election as the country's first black president in 1994.

British actor Idris Elba, plays Mr Mandela in the film and the part of Mr Mandela's first wife, Winnie, is played by another British actor, Naomie Harris, AFP reports.

Mr Mandela, 95, was too frail to attend the premiere as he is under medical care at home, having spent three months in hospital in a critical condition with a lung infection earlier this year.

After spending 27 years in jail for activism against the apartheid regime, Mr Mandela preached equality and forgiveness in the bitterly divided nation, winning him worldwide admiration.