The Nelson Mandela I know: By his minister

Nelson Mandela’s prison pastor has, for the first time, written about the jailed ANC leader. His letter is on PAGE 12.

A spokesman for SA Prison Services, Lt Colonel DJ ImmeIman said of the letter:

The contents of the inter-personal relationship between a religious worker and a prisoner, as well as the possible spiritual experience of individual prisoners, are matters of a personal and privileged nature. It is unfortunately not possible to comment on the factual nature of the information furnished by the writer.

The Nelson Mandela I know: By his minister
Nelson Mandela is a man about whom men debate. Some say he is good man some say he is bad, violent and a communist.

I believe that I have something of value to say on the subject. I am a Methodist Minister and I am a Methodist spiritual worker to prisoners in Pollsmoor Prison, just outside Cape Town.

I have thus been Minister and Pastor to Nelson Mandela ever since his transfer to Pollsmoor Prison from Robben Island. I have got to know the man well, and what I know of the man, as I have ministered to him and been ministered to by him, I must share with the people of South Africa.

I have regularly administered the sacrament of Holy Communion to Nelson Mandela. I did so the day before yesterday. On that occasion, he spent some time in meditation — meditating on the tension that Jesus must have felt in Gethsemane, knowing that he was to be arrested and killed.

His meditation led him to the thought that in South Africa most of those who are arrested do not have that level of tension. There is a wellknown Christian booklet of daily scripture readings and meditation called “Faith for Daily Living“.

Nelson Mandela looks forward to receiving his copy of it. It is an important part of his daily life. I do know that Nelson Mandela appreciates all the good wishes people send to him. He also respects the men who have been appointed to guard him in prison. He gets on well with them.

Is he a communist? He is a nationalist, I know. I do not believe that he is a communist. He would probably admit that he is influenced by some of the teachings of Marx; but then those who would condemn him for that should bear in mind that much of Marx’s teachings is not exclusive to communism.

The man Mandela that I know just cannot be a communist. I have written this letter because I believe the people of our country ought to know something about the man. What I have written is not what has been reported to me by others. It is my own personal knowledge of the man, Nelson Mandela. — Rev Dudley A Moore.

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