Friday, 19 April, 2019
OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

‘We will not fail you’.
Address by Nelson Mandela - 27 October 2006.
In December 1990 Oliver returned to South Africa, having been in exile from his native land for three decades. It was wonderful to have him near.’

That is a quote. I wrote those words in Long Walk to Freedom.
The words are coming back to me strongly tonight. The day was a Thursday, the 13th of December, 1990, a summer’s day in South Africa. I was of course among those there to meet Address by Nelson Mandela - , along with our comrades.
We sat and spoke in the back of a motor car for a while before Oliver, who was very frail by then, got out to acknowledge the thunderous welcome of the crowds that had gathered. I had the honour to tell those crowds: ‘Our president wishes to say he is happy to be home.’
I remember the widest grin on Oliver’s face as the crowd erupted.

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