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Nelson Mandela's friend describes his last days


South Africa

Nelson Mandela's friend describes his last days

A rare video has emerged showing one of Nelson’s Mandela’s friends and former prison mates speaking publicly about his last days.

Anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, was imprisoned with the former president of South Africa, considered by many to be the “father of the nation.”

Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Kathrada described his last meeting at the hospital as “traumatic”, but said his death was not a shock.

“When I went to see him at the hospital, it was the most traumatic moment of my life. To see this man, whom I knew all my life as a strong person, and here he is a shadow of himself,” said Kathrada. “Barely recognisable. Unable to speak because he had these tubes in his mouth… But he could respond by shaking his head that he has understood.”

Sunday will see an official day of reflection and prayer, with special religious services being held in Nelson Mandela’s honour.

South Africans are also preparing for a week of events to mark his passing.

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