Soon he established excellent relations with the white staff he had kept on. Afrikaner secretaries and servants became loyal to Mandela as he also made a point to remember their names and also their families. At Tuynhuis in Cape Town, Mandela didn’t change much. He put up a picture of his mother’s kraal and of himself as a boxer in the 1950s. He worked in the Elephant Room opposite his bedroom. He often got up at 4:30 and made his own bed. He walked around the grounds before breakfast. Mandela amazed the staff and servants by shaking hands and chatting with all of them, including the gardeners. Klerk noted that Mandela had a special ability to make every person who came in contact with him feel special. Mandela also became friendly with his Afrikaner bodyguards and they in turn became loyal to him. One bodyguard was quoted to say: “I used to do it [duties as a bodyguard] for money, but now it’s for him. His style was always homely and earthy. He had an open smile.He always preferred to deal with politics and diplomacy through one-to-one contacts, bypassing bureaucracies; and he still loved long-distance telephone calls. He forgave his jailors- White people met this gesture with surprise and relief

Saturday 11 June 2011 08:50

In January 1997 Mandela admitted that the ANC had made some misatkes



Commentators and critics including AIDS activists such as Judge Edwin Cameron

criticised Mandela for his government’s ineffectiveness in stemming the AIDS crisis.

After his retirement, Mandela admitted that he may have failed his country by not

paying more attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mandela has since spoken out on

several occasions against the AIDS epidemic

In January 1997, Mandela admitted that the ANC made a mistake when it funded

the costly sequel to the musical Sarafina intended to publicise AIDS. The musical

was never produced


Mandela appointed Winnie as Arts and Culture Minister, who soon afterwards

became involved in a financial scandal. There were shady diamond deals, a dubious

tourist project for black Americans, and an anti-poverty programme which allowed

her huge expenses. Mandela made no move until she became openly disloyal. She

accused the ANC of being preoccupied with appeasing whites, and challenged them to show they were in power.

When Mandela insisted she apologise, Winnie reluctantly signed a formal apology,

but then complained she had done so under duress.

Mandela finally dismissed her from government


In January 1997 Mandela admitted that the ANC had made some fundamental and

serious mistakes, including its response to funding from Sol Kerzner

(who had donated R2million to the ANC)


When Nigeria was taken over by corrupt dictator General Sani Abacha,

Mandela favoured quiet diplomacy on the issue. He believed that Abacha would

yield to international pressure. Not many agreed with him. He was accused of being

soft and there were some who said that were it for quiet diplomacy,

Mandela would not have made it out of jail