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Twice we're lined up against a wall to be shot as spies. Twice the commandant changes his mind. Instead, he finally says, we're to be fed to the crocodiles in the nearby Luapula River. Back into the truck and a drive down to the river. Then into an old wooden boat pushed by an outboard motor.
It's not every day that you wake up to discover that your old friend might have murdered the prime minister of Sweden. And it's not every day that you learn that the same old friend might also have bombed the Stockholm and London offices of the African National Congress.
I have no idea if the man eulogized by Dr Maya Angelou last month as South Africa's "David...Man of strength Gideon", was actually in the press box that hot, sunny day at Ellis Park. But I believe he was. I could feel it in the pride his perceived presence stirred to a melodious roar.
This day in Dublin, Mandela shakes my hand. It's a most peculiar moment. I look into his eyes, he looks into mine, and somehow I know I'm in the presence of sheer, bloody greatness. Not because of what he's done or had done to him, but simply because of who he is.
For most South Africans, that long walk to freedom Mandela wrote about is on a much longer, stonier and more dangerous road than they ever expected. And it's taking far more time than their well wishers around the world ever predicted. Considering what's happening to his dream of a new, democratic and rainbow nation, maybe it's best that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has gone.
Many people outside South Africa think Nelson Mandela is an exception; an aberration. Mandela is not like other black people, they say. This misconception lies at the heart of the paranoia among right-wing South Africans, recently repeated in some foreign media, that when Mandela dies, black people will drop the pretense of the last 20 years and start murdering whites.
So what's all this fuss the lefties are making about Prime Minister Harper trying to keep track of costs at the CBC by writing a few words into the back of his omnibus budget, Bill C-60? But what's the difference between a public broadcaster and a state broadcaster? I've worked for both. So I can tell you what's the difference.
Sixteen years after freedom and the end of the evil that was apartheid, South African police massacred 34 striking black miners at a place called Marikana. Pictures on TV and in our newspapers show them chasing demonstrators, firing into the crowd, standing over the dead like hunters counting their kill.