Newspapers publish excerpts from new Mandela book

AP News
Posted: Oct 10, 2010 11:41 AM
Newspapers publish excerpts from new Mandela book

Nelson Mandela's new memoirs explore his anguish over the toll political activism took on his family, according to excerpts that appeared in Sunday newspapers around the world.

The excerpts offer readers a sneak peak of "Conversations with Myself," which goes on sale Tuesday and is based on decades of the anti-apartheid icon's notes, letters and conversations.

The Sunday Times of London quotes a letter sent in 1969 to his daughters Zenani and Zindzi, then 9 and 10, after his then-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was detained by police, a form of harassment she endured frequently during the 27 years he was imprisoned.

"For long you may live like orphans without your own home and parents, without the natural love, affection and protection Mummy used to give you," Mandela wrote. "Now you will get no birthday or Christmas parties, no presents or new dresses, no shoes or toys."

In a 1970 letter to Madikizela-Mandela, when she was detained in a Pretoria prison, he wrote: "I feel I have been soaked in gall, every part of me, my flesh, bloodstream, bone and soul, so bitter am I to be completely powerless to help you in the rough and fierce ordeals you are going through."

A Johannesburg newspaper, also called the Sunday Times, quotes from an unpublished autobiography on which much of "Conversations with Myself," is based. It speaks of his concern the world had a false image of him as a saint.

"I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."

Mandela, 92, has largely retired from public life. His 1995 autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom," is known worldwide.