Blair to get mixed reception

Former British PM Tony Blair will on Thursday speak at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will receive a mixed reception when he speaks at the Discovery Leadership Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday.

Two days ago, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu pulled out of the summit saying he could not be part of an event with a man who helped to invade Iraq in 2003.

The British High Commission's Gary Benham said they were also not involved in Blair's visit.

"Mr Blair is in South Africa in his private capacity, so it would be inappropriate for the British High Commission in Pretoria to be involved or comment."

Muslim political party, Al Jama-ah, plans to protest against Blair outside the convention centre on Maude Street.

It said the demonstration will be to support a warrant of arrest to charge Blair for crimes against humanity relating to the invasion of Iraq which led to millions of killings.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is also expected to speak on Thursday.