Nelson Mandela and its third wife, Graça Machel, in London in 2007.
Old fellows-prisoner, lawyer, friends close or friendly of childhood, television channel PBS gathered on its site a score of interviews of people who knew Nelson Mandela, died in its residence in the evening of the Thursday, December 5. “It did not accept that one lies to him, Christo Brand, a former guard of Robben Island remembers, the prison in which “Madiba” was sent. Especially if you stole something to him, and lied to him then. You were to acknowledge to him that you had stolen it, and in a certain way it accepted it. But if you lied to him then… there he was really irritated.”
Its lawyer of long time, George Bisoz, become a friend near with the passing of years, described to him also a personality full with kindness, but which could also be hard and sharp, not agreeing to be disappointed by the spite of some. “It leaves the principle that everyone is a good person. It is only as from the moment or somebody proves not to be with the height that it is put in anger and can become wounding”, explains the lawyer, who returned many visits to his old friend in prison.
Three former chiefs of the same clan “Madiba” as Nelson Mandela – Ndaba Mtirara, Anderson Joyi and Jonginyaniso Mtirara – also entrust to PBS, sharing the memories which they keep of the Mandela young person that they knew whereas it was not 20 years old. They describe a “promising” boy, “in full health”. Its first political steps reasoned in the villages of the neighborhoods; one did not know his first name yet, “but one knew Mandela”, that which was in the train “returning its freedom to the black people”.
NewYork Times also publishes to him on its site a series of talks filmed with its journalists corresponding to Johannesburg, since the middle of the years 1970 until today. Each one their turn, the journalists bring back memories and experiments with the Madiba chief.
John Burns, correspondent of 1976 to 1980, was present when the South-African leader, coldly released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, meets the international mediums for the first time since his judgment in 1964. “The question which marked me the most, it is when somebody asked to him whether it felt rancorous with regard to the white people of Africa which had made him lose all these years, Mr. Burns remembers, who belonged to the several hundreds of journalist presents this day. How could I have resentments, Nelson Mandela had answered, when my best friend in prison was a White, and for me, represented best White of South Africa.”
Suzanne Daley, installed in the South-African capital of 1995 to 1999, remembers a singular meeting in the residence of Mr. Mandela. The journalist, accompanied by a colleague of NewYork Times, remembers to be marked by a house rather dark, modest, and feeling of loneliness which emerged some. At the time president of the Republic of South Africa, he had been unaware of it during all maintenance, addressing himself only to his male colleague. “Then it started to smiling, approached Joe [the other journalist of NewYork Times] and said to him: “In my time, a man would have had shame to have a woman like that. In my time, a wife was to have a little more flesh on the bones. ” “
It is also its love of the pretty women whom division Donald McNeil, number two of the office of Johannesburg at the sides of Suzanne Daley, in a video entitled “I (almost) met Mandela”. At the time of a press conference with the Head of the State, the correspondent had made the tail for a long time to be able to tighten the hand of Nelson Mandela. When its turn arrives finally, Madiba would have located a large “splendid” woman, in heels, which was just behind the journalist, and it would be hastened to go to ask to him whether it were a “athlete”, without taking the trouble to tighten the hand of Mr. McNeil.