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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

On May 10, 1994, the world de­scended on Pre­to­ria for the in­au­gu­ra­tion of South Africa’s first black pres­i­dent.

Among the heads of state and celebrities was a man in the US del­e­ga­tion who broad­cast­ers could not place.

But An­thony O’Reilly, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of In­de­pen­dent News & Me­dia, recog­nised him. It was a but­ler in his em­ploy, Man­dela had stayed at the O’Reilly house in the Ba­hamas in 1993 af­ter an ex­haust­ing trip to the US.

At his in­au­gu­ra­tion in May 1994, O’Reilly was hap­pily sur­prised to see his but­ler John Cartwright at the cer­e­mony.

As he wrote at the time of Man­dela’s death: “We saw the Amer­i­can del­e­ga­tion: first was Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, sec­ond was Al Gore... and third was John, the but­ler.

“The ap­pre­cia­bly non­plussed CBS com­men­ta­tor was say­ing: ‘And the third per­son is... well, he must be one of our African am­bas­sadors.’

“‘Good heav­ens, John!’ we all thought.”

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