The Presidential Years

TT - How did you experience his style in meetings?

Aziz Pahad - I always ascribed it to the fact that he was a lawyer. He had one of the most charismatic personalities I’ve ever experienced, I don’t know anybody else who had a personality like that. He could grasp things quite quickly if he was interested in the particular thing, and was able to give his view. My one criticism, if it is a criticism, is that Madiba intervened too quickly in discussion, I’m talking about within the ANC leadership, the NEC, whereas OR and others had this style that they let everybody speak before they made their view, so in that way you are able to get a view. Although you might know where you are going, you give everybody a feeling that they are contributing to where you are going. People who knew Madiba when he was younger say, ‘No, no that was his style, he doesn’t wait for everybody’s views, he puts his view but others can then put their view, but then who will disagree?’