Thursday, August 17, 2006

Freeing Nelson Mandela: the inside story

One of the great mysteries of modern times is why the live TV coverage of Mandela's release from Robben Island prison in 1990 showed an hour of him not walking out in triumph, before he eventually did so. What was happening?

I think I know. As he was tidying up his cell (who knew, it might be De Klerk's next), he had a premonition of his future life outside: meeting Tony Blair and Gabrielle, Prince Charles and the Spice Girls, Oprah, Bill Clinton, Alan Titchmarsh and the Ground Force team, St Bob and St Bono.

He thought, 'Well, maybe prison's not so bad', before reluctantly concluding that suffering seemed to be his lot, and he might as well get on with it.

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