Madiba 90

Madiba's sense of humour praised

2008-06-27 19:26

Special Report

Mandela: SA needs good leaders

Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.

Cape Town - Among the many accolades that were showered on Nelson Mandela at a joint sitting of Parliament on Friday were some shining examples of his well known sense of humour.

During the debate in celebration of Mandela's 90th birthday, the Democratic Party's Tony Leon recalled an exchange in Parliament when the former president referred to the DA as a Mickey Mouse party.

Leon said he responded to Mandela's jibe by calling the ANC a Goofy party.

He said many years later he had undergone a by-pass operation and while in hospital Mandela had visited him.

Greeted snipers

"I heard a knock at the door followed by Mandela's distinctive voice saying: "Is Mickey Mouse there? This is your friend Goofy." Leon said to great laugher.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, also had a story to tell about what he called Mandela's "wicked sense of humour" which has a relevance to current events.

Buthelezi said he had been appointed acting president while President Thabo Mbeki was on a trip to Malaysia. Shortly before he was due to take over the presidency Mandela said to him: "It's nearly 12 o'clock, go and speak to (Zimbabwean president) Mugabe."

Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, also recalled a humorous experience with Mandela when the two visited the town of Zeerust. Motlanthe said security was high when they arrived at the airport and snipers had been put in place behind nearby bushes to protect the dignitaries.

However Mandela walked up to one of the snipers with an outstretched hand and asked him: "How are you? He then proceeded to greet the next person causing disarray among the security personnel.

Motlanthe said this was an example of the love and compassion that Mandela exuded.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.