World
Mandela aide's memoir set to ruffle feathers
Publish Date: Jun 15, 2014
Mandela aide's memoir set to ruffle feathers
Nelson Mandela
  • mail
  • img
newvision

JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela's widow was treated badly by members of his family as the peace icon was fighting for his life in hospital, excerpts from a memoir by his long-time aide have revealed.

In a book likely to ruffle some feathers within the large Mandela family, Zelda la Grange, Mandela's personal assistant for 19 years, tells of shabby treatment suffered by Graca Machel, even in the aftermath of her husband's death.

La Grange's book "Good Morning, Mr Mandela" will be launched on Thursday.

Excerpts published by Sunday Times newspaper reveal that Machel was once called "Ms Frantic" by Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe, after media reports that she had been in a frenzy when an ambulance driving Mandela to hospital broke down on a motorway on a cold evening in June 2013.

La Grange also recalled family squabbles over control of the revered statesman during his final days, sidelining Machel.

She says politics within the Mandela family about his funeral took place for years before he died in December last year at the age of 95.

Machel had refused to be party to such arrangements.

"I don't know of any person alive who has been treated with the amount of disrespect that people have shown to Mrs Machel," writes La Grange.

She also says that Machel, like anybody else, was compelled to get accreditation to attend her own husband's funeral on December 15.

The Machel family was allocated only five spots at the service.

Makaziwe told the Sunday Times that La Grange would have to prove any reference she made about the family in the book "otherwise she will be sued."

But the former aide has defended her words.

"My book was not written as a definitive account -- to say 'this is Madiba'. It's just my experience," she told the Sunday Times.

La Grange, a white Afrikaans woman, had over the years become a permanent feature at Mandela's side, often seen holding his hand to offer support during his frail final years.

On a lighter side, she told how she was at loss for words when she met him for the first time.

"I said: 'Good morning, Mr Mandela'," and started crying.

"I felt guilty that this kindly-spoken man with gentle eyes and generosity of spirit spoke to me in my own language after my people had sent him to jail for so many years."

La Grange also claims that Machel had to intervene after Makaziwe had prevented her from visiting Mandela in hospital, telling her that she was no longer an employee.

RELATED ARTICLES

Immortalizing Mandela through art

Will Mandela's gravesite remain off limits?

Mandela look-alike vows to carry on legacy

World icon Nelson Mandela: 1918 - 2013
 


AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Food poisoning sickens over 600 villagers
More than 600 Cambodian villagers, mostly school children, fell ill after eating contaminated food provided to a school during an anti-child labour event....
Police investigate death threats to BBC boss
British police were on Sunday investigating death threats against BBC director-general Tony Hall following his decision to popular "Top Gear" presenter Jeremy Clarkson....
Crash captain shouted
French officials say the plane''s black box voice recorder indicates that the co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit....
Somali forces battled overnight to end a deadly gun and bomb siege on a Mogadishu hotel by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants....
Saudi pounds Yemen rebel camps, Arab allies gather
Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed rebel camps in Yemen for a second day on Friday, as President Barack Obama said the United States shared a "collective goal" with its regional ally to see stability in the war-torn state....
Crash pilot told ex
The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his Airbus in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, told his ex-girlfriend that "one day everyone will know my name", according to German newspaper Bild....
Will the ban of food vendors help eliminate typhoid?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter