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Saturday, December 7, 2013


 artSMart’s editor, administration and reviewing team send deep condolences to the family of the late and much-revered Nelson Mandela.

What better tribute than to quote Madiba’s own words which appeared in The Mercury Newspaper on December 6, taken from an interview he gave for the documentary Mandela in 1994.

“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”

Another apt tribute comes from someone who was by Nelson Mandela’s side through thick and thin: Zelda le Grange, his former private secretary. Originally in a typist's post in the Presidency, she was promoted to one of his private assistants in 1996 and, when he left office in 1999, he retained her services as one of his personal staff:

“Nelson Mandela inspired people to forgive, to reconcile, to care, to be selfless, to be tolerant, to maintain dignity no matter what the circumstances.

I can attest to each of these because these are the ways in which he changed my life over the past 19 years. I am blessed and honoured by the privilege to have had the opportunity to serve him. I often battled with the relentless pressure. But then I looked to him who carried himself with such grace and energy. I never left, I never could.”*

I met Nelson Mandela in a spontaneous few moments at the re-launch of the Blue Train. I will never forget his extremely firm grip as we shook hands, that tall figure, unmistakeable voice and infectious smile. I then understood the term “Madiba Magic”. – Caroline Smart