The Presidential Years

He did have at least two meetings with journalists that I can recall. One was at the Indaba Hotel and we had requested the meeting to express our disquiet at the fact that there was a tendency on the part of the ANC to disregard black journalists and the role they had played under very difficult circumstances. It was a very, very positive meeting and I recall that we were all eating out of his hands. It was a very positive meeting in which he committed himself to doing everything that he could to get the appropriate transformation in the media.

Then we had another meeting with him. He invited us to a meeting at Shell House. Mandela was raising specific issues on the way that journalists had reported on certain issues. It was 20 years ago so I don’t remember the actual stories. It was quite a robust exchange. And then the third or fourth time, was when one of the politicians had made a disparaging remark about black journalists. He phoned me personally that evening and said, ‘Look. Don’t take this personally. You are definitely not the person being referred to, because we know what your outlook is.’

Thami Mazwai