I love and support Zelda la Grange – Zindzi Mandela

2014-06-20 09:46

Zelda la Grange is a woman of integrity whose book should be supported, says Zindzi Mandela.

“She is a wonderful woman. A woman who has been kind to me over the years. I just love her and I think she should be supported. I think she’s got a fresh insight into Tata’s life, which should be respected,” Nelson Mandela’s daughter said at the launch of La Grange’s book, Good Morning, Mr Mandela, in Joburg last night.

La Grange has been embroiled in a storm of criticism for revealing the behind-the-scenes drama in the Mandela family in her book.

Good Morning, Mr Mandela is an autobiographical account of La Grange’s life and her relationship with the late Nelson Mandela.

It was reported earlier this week that Makaziwe Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter, had threatened to sue La Grange for claims about infighting in the family.

La Grange received a flood of praise at the book launch. The auditorium was filled with more than 100 guests including George Bizos, Ahmed Kathrada and members of the Machel family.

La Grange said there were certain events she had left out of the book out of respect for Nelson Mandela.

“We all know there’s a lot more to say. I feel comfortable with the book the way it is now. I feel that my trust relationship with Madiba is intact and my trust relationship with the Machel family. Ms Machel, Madiba and the foundation were my main concerns.”

She emphasised that this was not a tell-all book and that “the positive side of the stories still outweigh the negative incidents that people pointed out”.

Also in attendance was Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, who spoke highly of La Grange.

“It’s an honour and privilege for the royal house of Mandela to be here. Particularly when we gather just when the family has come out of the mourning period for my grandfather,” he said.

“I think my grandfather ... is looking down with a big smile.”

He thanked La Grange for her 19 years of service to Madiba.

“Madiba belonged to the greater cause – that of humanity. As a family, we gladly and willingly share him with all people.”

Mandla said many people had written books about Mandela – some with his blessing and others without – but as a family their attitude had always been the same. “All these books are welcomed as they contribute towards the wealth of information about Madiba from different angles and differing perspectives.”

Zindzi Mandela later jokingly said the only problem she had with the book was that it was launched during the World Cup.

“I told this woman: how dare you schedule something in the middle of the World Cup? We don’t even know what the score is between Ivory Coast and Colombia,” she said as she searched for someone who could give her an update on the score.

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