IBA representatives and Bar leaders from 14 African countries met with South African president Nelson Mandela on the eve of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in New Zealand.

Mandela, who cancelled plans to deliver the IBA Section on Business Law's 25th anniversary lecture to attend the conference, met with representatives including IBA president Ross Harper at his home in Pretoria.

Mandela, who had been scheduled to speak on the rule of law, said: “I especially recognise the importance and value of legal representation throughout the world. Few people realise how important lawyers are for the struggle for democracy in this country.”