page 2012/41-19 - Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 19) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_019.jpg]

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM NMFP-2012/41-2012/41-19


Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 19) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_019.jpg]


  • 2011 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 digital image
1107 KB

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Verne Harris

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Page 19 of Nelson Mandela's Warders
James Gregory

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


But usually we were out without anyone knowing. We drove around everywhere: across the Boland, up the west coast, around False Bay, even to Hermanus. Nelson also wanted to see Hout Bay so we went there and ate crayfish which he bought for us from his own pocket. Once when we were driving to Saldanha we past a field with a lot of melons on the veld. He asked me, ‘What are those? I said it was kaffirwaatlemoen. He said, ‘What!’ He didn’t like the word. He made this snorting sound when he was upset. He did this snort and then he kept quiet for a while. So I asked Gregory, ‘Hey, tell me, what is kaffirwaatlemoen in English, a nice name, because the man is upset now!’ He said to me, ‘No, it stays kaffirwaatlemoen. It's just like that.’ But Mandela wasn’t cross for long and was soon asking us questions again.’

It was not long into the Victor Verster months when Gregory’s son Brent died in a motor car accident. Brent Gregory had also joined the prison services and had been seconded to Victor Verster to handle Mandela’s administrative matters. In response to this tragedy Mandela wrote a note quoted in Gregory’s book: I was deeply shocked to hear of the tragic death of your beloved son, Brent, and on behalf of myself and family I send you our sincerest sympathy. Few things are as painful as an invisible wound. But I hope you and your family will be comforted by the knowledge that Brent was loved and respected by almost all those who came into contact with him. Once again, our deepest condolences. (p328)

Six days after the funeral Gregory returned to work and in his book described an intimate moment with Mandela as they walked in the garden. [...] he began speaking to me. ‘It has happened. It is a terrible thing. I am feeling for you ... (p329) Then Mandela referred to the time his own son Thembi had died in a car accident in July 1969 and to the words Gregory had said to him, adding, ‘Many people are saying the same things to you now. They care now

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places