Madiba tribute: Gillian Slovo

By Kirstin Buick
06 December 2013

Gillian Slovo pays tribute to Nelson Mandela.

NOVELIST, DAUGHTER OF POLITICIAN JOE SLOVO

In the days before my father’s death from bone marrow cancer he spoke very little and towards the end slipped into a coma. Mandela came to visit him on the day which turned out to be his last. He sat by Joe’s bed talking softly while Joe lay silent. About to leave, Mandela got up and resting his cheek against Joe’s forehead, he said, “Goodbye, Joe,” and Joe suddenly spoke, “Cheers.” Later that night after Joe had died we stood in the living room drinking a toast. We raised our glasses and repeated that one word, “Cheers.”

Click here for more tributes to Tata.

Extracted from Mandela: The Authorised Portrait

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