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Nelson Mandela Book to Be Completed by Colleagues

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A sequel to Nelson Mandela’s book, “A Long Walk to Freedom”, was started by Mandela. However, after numerous hospital stays, and after his last release from the hospital, he will not be able to finish it.

According to AFP, Mandela is stable but still in critical condition. His former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, says that the tubes that run down his throat to drain his lungs prevent him from speaking.

His illness dates back to his prison years in an apartheid jail, when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. While his pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, she said, adding that it was “difficult for him”.

“He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there is like an ICU (intensive care unit) ward.” she said. “He remains quite ill, but thank God the doctors were able to pull him through from that (last) infection.”

Due to his conditions, he is unable to write or even dictate his words to someone, so a few former colleagues are stepping in to finish the book of the great anti-apartheid hero, and South Africa’s first black president, according to Reuters. Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang said former colleagues have begun to finish the work, based on Mandela’s own writings, other archive material and their own personal recollections of the Nobel peace laureate.

“It’s a collective work, a project by the people who worked with Mandela in that office,” Hatang said at the Foundation in Johannesburg, where Mandela spent his professional time after leaving office.

Mandela began writing the book shortly before he left office as a sequel to his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”. The first draft is entitled “The Presidential Years”, and is dated October 16,1998. He wrote about the hopes and fragilities that go along with any liberation movement.

Mandela strived to create a better society for South Africans. He wanted liberty, safety and a smaller gap between rich and poor, but since he left office, South Africa remains one of the most corrupt governments in the world. It tumbled down the rankings in global watchdog Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index from 38th in 2001 to 69th last year.

This is a fact which might make those currently in charge a little uncomfortable, especially present leaders of Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) and President Jacob Zuma, who is currently dealing with a scandal over a 206 million rand, or $20 million, taxpayer-funded upgrade to his private mansion.

Mandela is clear about his stance on this kind of thing in his book, and by his very words, calls out this kind of behavior. “Frequently, erstwhile revolutionaries have easily succumbed to greed and the tendency to divert public resources for personal enrichment ultimately overwhelmed them. By amassing vast personal wealth, and by betraying the noble objectives which made them famous, they virtually deserted the masses of the people and joined the former oppressors, who enriched themselves by mercilessly robbing the poorest of the poor.”

There is no information on when the book will be finished or who will publish it, but when it does make its debut, it is sure to step on some toes.

Image via wikimedia commons

Nelson Mandela Book to Be Completed by Colleagues
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