Saturday 20 January 2018

James Downey: Mandela's honesty in his quest for peace a lesson to Adams and Co

Half a lifetime ago, I interviewed Oliver Tambo, one of Nelson Mandela's most valued comrades, in Kader Asmal's house in Dublin. I asked him if he believed he would live to see a free South Africa.

At the time, Mandela was in prison. Most of the other African National Congress leaders were in exile. Apartheid seemed to have a brutal, unshakeable grip on their country.

Like most people in this part of the world, I thought that South Africa would indeed achieve freedom one day, but that that day would not arrive in Tambo's time and would dawn only after a long period of devastating violence.

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