Remember when Nelson Mandela walked out of prison on February 11, 1990. I know for some people he never went to prison. I know where I was: watching it with my parents and siblings in our living room of our council house on Cape Town’s Cape Flats. This week, the BBC radio program, “Reunion,” got together a number of the key players–Apartheid spy Niel Barnard, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, academic Willie Esterhuyse (who acted as liaison between the Apartheid regime and the ANC), journalist Allister Sparks and the ANC’s Aziz Pahad and Thabo Mbeki (yes him)–to reminisce about the events. There’s a bit of rainbowism, 20/20 vision but also some hard truths. It’s worth listening to.
The only person unable to come to terms with his past is Niel Barnard. Go figure.
* BTW, that’s Mcebisi Skwatsha, now a major and controversial player in Western Cape provincial politics, looking like a 20 year old on the right. Is that Hilda Ndude on the left and Bulelani Ngcuka obscured behind Mandela’s fist?