page 2012/41-34 - Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 34) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_034.jpg]

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ZA COM NMFP-2012/41-2012/41-34

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Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 34) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_034.jpg]

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  • 2011 (Creation)

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page

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1 digital image
996 KB

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()

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Verne Harris

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Page 34 of Nelson Mandela's Warders

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Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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  • English

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showing the peace sign he would destroy both photograph and letter. He was also not above practical jokes such as holding back letters from Madikizela-Mandela to Mandela. Or in an instance where a prisoner wrote letters to a wife and a girlfriend he would swop the letters around. As these incidents occurred in 1979 when Gregory was working from an office at the harbour, he was clearly not the officer in charge of the prisoners.

References to Brand occur in two more instances in Gregory’s narrative: the first was to order him to buy a particular brand of shampoo for Mandela; the second was to admonish him for neglecting to report that Mandela was ill.

The first instance regarding the shampoo has become a much-told story. Mandela asks for Blue Pantene shampoo only to be told it is unavailable. He threatens to have Helen Suzman mention in parliament that his requests are being denied, and Brand is sent out to scour Cape Town for the product. In Gregory’s version he orders Brand to find the shampoo; in Brand’s version he is despatched by Brigadier Munro, the commanding officer, which seems more likely.

The second incident concerns the prelude to Mandela being admitted to hospital with TB. In his biography Sampson reports that Mandela vomited during a visit from his lawyer Ismail Ayob who summoned Gregory who arrived to find Mandela shaky on his feet, sweating, and concerned about the mess on the floor. A few days later he was examined by a doctor and taken to Tygerberg Hospital.

Gregory’s account is more dramatic and occurs a week after the Ayob visit:

...Brand called me and said Nelson had not eaten for two days. I was furious: I should have been told the moment he refused one meal. Brand

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