page 2012/41-35 - Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 35) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_035.jpg]

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ZA COM NMFP-2012/41-2012/41-35


Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 35) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_035.jpg]


  • 2011 (Creation)

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Verne Harris

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Page 35 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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was contrite. ‘Ah, ja, I should also have told you that he has not been exercising and has spent most of the past two days in bed.’ ‘Brand, you know that’s not the way we agreed this should be run. I need to know immediately anything is wrong.’ I went to see Nelson straight away. I knew he was ill from the moment I went into his room. His face had a yellow tinge and his eyes were set deep. (p288ff)

Gregory also mentions that he was on hand at the medical examination at Tygerberg and that Mandela asked him to fill in the admittance forms.

I looked at them and saw they required details of his entire history. I knew it all and asked Nelson if I should complete them. He turned his head and smiled. ‘Please fill it in as my next of kin; you’re almost that anyway.’ (p290)

Brand’s account concurs with Sampson’s except in one detail - that it was not Gregory who was summoned by Ayob but Brand himself. In fact at the time Brand believes that Gregory was not even part of the Mandela warder contingent having been replaced by Piet Zaayman,who was appointed as head of security in 1985. Strangely, although Sampson disparages Gregory’s book in his biography, in this instance he relies on it for details.

Although Brand saw Mandela at Constantiaberg Hospital on a daily basis while he was recuperating, his contact was to become infrequent during the Victor Verster months. Now Gregory was reinstated, probably because of his language skills, under Major Marais to oversee Mandela. Brand remained at Pollsmoor but would occasionally drive to Victor Verster when post had accumulated for Mandela. ‘Mandela would always ask to greet me and I would say hello,’ says Brand, ‘but I was too worried to talk too much to him because everything was bugged.’

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