At a press conference in London Mandela expressed his admiration for the late princess's humanitarian work and emphasised the important role she played in combating the stigma around HIV/Aids.
"She highlighted neglected causes. She reached out to people on the margins of society. She made even the most humble people feel special. Princess Diana took advantage of her celebrity status and used this to challenge and fight the stigma attached to poverty, and people living with terminal diseases - especially those with HIV/Aids.
"When she stroked
the limbs of someone with leprosy, or sat on the bed of a man with HIV/Aids and
held his hand, she transformed public attitudes and improved the life chances of
"Her love for children went beyond the European borders and boundaries. I urge everyone... to learn from her example and embrace her legacy," Mandela said.
He said the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund would join forces to help reduce the suffering of Aids orphans, those dying of Aids and the bereaved they left behind. The joint initiative aims to build on the existing work of both charities.
A spokesperson for the late Princess Diana's fund said the two charities would not establish a new fund but would launch new joint programmes.
An example was the palliative care grants that Princess Diana's fund has already given to several hospices in
The fund has already donated £340 000 (about R5,4-million) to hospice work in
Mandela's trip to
On Saturday morning Mandela was honoured for his his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, which has sold 1,5 million copies in