Mandela congratulates JM Coetzee

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has congratulated South Africa’s latest Nobel Prize winner, author JM Coetzee, Mandela’s office said on Friday.

Coetzee’s winning of the prestigeous literature accolade was announced by the Swedish Academy on Thursday.

Coetzee has won the Booker Price twice, in 1984 for The Life and Times of Michael K and in 1999 for Disgrace.

“For a small country here on the southern tip of Africa to have produced two Nobel Prize winners in literature is indeed a remarkable achievement,” Mandela said in a statement.

“He might have emigrated but we shall continue to claim him as our own.

“His consistent portrayal of the violence and distortions of colonialism and apartheid have made him an intellectual hero in the history of our country.”

The ex-Cape Town author is the first South African to win the Nobel Literature Prize since Nadine Gordimer received it in 1991.

Coetzee relocated to Australia almost two years ago and is a research fellow at the University of Adelaide.

Other titles penned by him include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, The Master of Petersburg, In the Heart of the Country, Foe and Age of Iron.—Sapa

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