in attempting to serve my people, I found that was prevented form fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband

I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that was prevented form fulfilling my obligations as a son¹, a brother, a father² and a husband³. In that way, my commitment to my people, to millions of South Africans I would never know are meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most.  It was as simple and as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, “Why can’t you be with us?” and the father must utter the terrible words: “There are other children like you, a great many of them…” and then one’s voice trails off.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, pp.749-50

1. His mother died while he was in prison and he was refused permission to bury her

2. He was largely estranged from his son and daughters who grew up without him. His daughter, when aged 15, had not seen him sicen she was a baby when he went to prison.

3. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1957 – she was a JW and non-political. His second, to Winniw, ended in divorce in 1996. He married a third time.

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