Mandela couldn't harm a cricket

2013-12-09 09:02

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Former president Nelson Mandela  was the type of person who couldn't even kill an insect, close friend and comrade of many years Ahmed Kathrada has said.

"Mandela couldn't even kill an insect," he told the audience in a packed Gandhi Hall in Lenasia  during his foundation's memorial event for Madiba yesterday.

Kathrada said one cold night while they were incarcerated on Robben Island, a cricket made a large noise and kept everyone awake.

He said each one was waiting for the other to get up and "deal with the cricket" because it was so cold.

Eventually Mandela got up and caught the cricket, but instead of flushing it down the toilet as many would do, he let the insect outside, Kathrada said.

The cricket continued to bother everyone throughout the night.

Kathrada, his voice breaking at times, also said Mandela was a man who led from the front, whatever the risks.

He said during the Rivonia Trial they were told to prepare for the worst, which they took to have meant death.

Mandela set the tone for everyone to accept this when he made his now famous speech, saying he was prepared to die for his ideals, if need be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb5xVT4mK_4

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