The Presidential Years

Mandela made frequent but irregular visits to the caucus in my recollection. And when he did, it was a source of huge excitement because he would walk in and everybody would want to greet him, personally, I would want to go and hug him! So he would have wandered all the way down from the Tuynhuys, through the Parliament, greeting everybody, and come in to caucus - always on time as far as I recall - and then there would be this long singing. It was a happy arrival. It was an extremely happy arrival.

And then he would sit quietly and listen to the programme as it was unfolding. Then he would say something, he would make a sort of statement - as have all the presidents since then. They are always asked by the chair of caucus to do that. And his was always very thoughtful and amusing at the same time.

But he also used the occasion to chastise Members of Parliament.

Sue van der Merwe