Letter: Would Mandela get asylum?

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The Independent Online
My thanks for the sensitive way you used the piece on me last week ("Why I wish I had never left South Africa", 14 July). During all the eulogising over Nelson Mandela - the near deification of the man - did it occur to anyone (John Major or Michael Howard) that had Mandela managed to flee South Africa and come seeking asylum here today, he would be met with the Draconian provisions of the new Asylum Bill?

In my own case, when I fled South Africa at the end of 1976, I entered the UK as a visitor. I found a job, squared my visitor status with the Home Office and worked until I qualified for permanent residence. But then I am a white South African.

Margaret Smith

London N8