The Presidential Years

This project has drawn on many people and institutions, on memories and insights of people who played a part in the events, on the archives and their archivists who are the custodians of documents that endure where memory fails, on historians who have reflected and written on these years. Their contributions are acknowledged in the text and the footnotes.

Special acknowledgement, though, is due to those who worked with Nelson Mandela during his presidential years and who generously gave their time and shared their insights through conversation and interview.

The media’s ‘first draft of history’ has enriched this ‘second draft’. Thanks to the sponsorship of Sabinet we could draw on their print media archive. SABC staff spent days retrieving audio-visual material from their Mandela Profile archive.

Without a grant from the Industrial Development Corporation, the research would not have been possible, nor would Dare Not Linger or this Presidential Years site.


Within this site the Nelson Mandela Foundation has utilised images from our gifted photographs collection. Several of these images are from our recently digitised ‘prints collection’ where many of the photographers remain unknown. Over the past 20 years these photographs were given to Mr Mandela or to the Foundation for safe-keeping and to use in the service of our memory and dialogue work. If you have information about any of the images that we have showcased we would love to hear from you.