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Van Zandt recalls 'death threat' during apartheid fight

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MYFOXNY.COM - Rocker Steven Van Zandt took 10 years off from the E Street Band to help fight apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s.

"I went down there and did some research in '84 and found out it was a terrible situation and something had to be done," said Van Zandt.

He wrote the song, 'Sun City,' about the racial discrimination that was apartheid in South Africa.

"I felt we needed to bring some attention to it. We brought in 50 artists," said Van Zandt.

"The short version is they were trying to pretend the homelands were independent countries and bringing the black workers back to their independent countries. It was a complete fraud, the homelands were not their real homelands," said Van Zandt.

The native New Yorker said he received death threats during that time.

"This was political."

Van Zandt fondly recalled Mandela who died last week at 95 years old.

"What an unbelievable life he had I've never met anyone who had that deep warmth and kindness and aura. It was like meeting a religious leader," said Van Zandt. 
The singer returns to South Africa next year for a special performance.
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