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  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    As Mandela lies dying, disputes over his legacy are taking hold

    JOHANNESBURG — The nasty family squabble over where three of former President Nelson Mandela’s children, and eventually the leader himself, will be buried drew to a close on Thursday morning in a small village on the Eastern Cape.But not before it had thrown into relief the perhaps inevitable disputes over the revered leader’s legacy — both the financial legacy, which his family is wrestling over, and more broadly, the political legacy of how Mr. Mandela will be remembered and how his story will guide the country he led.Mandla Mandela, the former president’s eldest grandson and heir as tribal leader in the region, held a news conference in his compound in Mvezo saying that he would cease his legal battles to have the bodies kept there. In 2011, he moved the bodies to Mvezo from another small village, Qunu, where the rest of the Mandela family wanted them and where the anti-apartheid leader is said to wish to be buried himself. By late afternoon, the bodies were reburied in Qunu....

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Mandela: Inspiration for an era of activism

    LONDON — In the welter of passion and memory surrounding the decline of Nelson Mandela, a more modest commemoration slipped by a week ago that said much about the role he played as an inspiration in his long years of imprisonment, when the daily grind of struggle against apartheid fell to others who fought in his name.It was a reminder, too, that the battle to end white rule was fought on many levels, ranging from the activism of anti-apartheid exiles here in London to a brutal shadow war in South Africa itself that offered no quarter to those seeking a new order.The events of June 27, 1985, offered a particular insight.

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Where Mandela Kept Hope, Guide Tells Their Shared Saga

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa — As Ahmed Kathrada led President Obama and his family recently through the prison on Robben Island where Mr. Kathrada had spent much of his life, he explained how the rules of apartheid had granted him, because of his Indian ancestry, long pants and socks. One of his fellow inmates, Nelson Mandela, as a black man, received short pants and no socks.Mr. Kathrada, 83, also showed the Obamas the sign listing the different amounts of sugar, coffee, soup and other foods that South Africa’s prison system had apportioned to blacks; mixed-race inmates, who were known as coloreds; Indians; and whites.“In everything there was apartheid,” he said in an interview on Thursday in his small apartment here in the shadow of Table Mountain....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Roy Robins: After Mandela

    Roy Robins is a writer based in Cape Town.CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Late on Wednesday night, March 27, former South African president Nelson Mandela was admitted to an undisclosed hospital for a recurring lung infection. This is the third time Mandela has been hospitalized in recent months. He spent a weekend in hospital in early March for what the government described as a "check-up," and most of December in hospital, where he was treated for a lung infection and had his gallstones removed. The last time Mandela was seen in public was almost three years ago, at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup, in Johannesburg. But that doesn't mean that he's not still everywhere.

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Amina Cachalia turned down Nelson Mandela's offer of marriage, son claims

    "I can't help it if the ladies take note of me," Nelson Mandela once said. "I am not going to protest."The thrice-married former president of South Africa is a celebrated charmer who, even in old age, has captivated celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and the Spice Girls. But one woman, it has been claimed, turned down a proposal of marriage from Mandela before he went on to wed his current wife, Graça Machel.Amina Cachalia, a distinguished activist in the anti-apartheid struggle, politely rebuffed the great statesman in the 1990s, according to her son, Ghaleb."She called me and my sister aside and said she wanted to tell us about this proposal and that she was not going to accept it," Ghaleb said on Monday. "She was very matter of fact about it."...

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Anne Applebaum: South Africa’s Unfinished Revolution

    Anne Applebaum is a Washington Post columnist.Twenty years ago, I visited South Africa and got lost. I set out from my hotel in Durban in search of a small black college where some leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) party were meeting before the country’s first post-apartheid elections. I drove around Durban’s white suburbs for hours, looking for a building that was not on my map because, technically, it was not in Durban. It was in KwaZulu, one of the black “homelands” that existed alongside but legally separate from the white neighborhoods. When I stopped for directions, nobody I asked had ever heard of the college, even though it was only a few miles away.

  • Originally published 02/23/2013

    Mandela family launches wine collection in Miami

    For decades, Nelson Mandela's name has been synonymous with political reform and the struggle against South African apartheid.Now with the launch of House of Mandela Wines, his daughter and granddaughter hope to add fine wine to the list of associations.It's a sign of just how far both the wine industry and the country have come since 1994, when apartheid was dismantled and Mandela was elected the nation's first black president...