Hein Bezuiden­hout

Sunday Times - - Insight Looking Back -

Bezuiden­hout was in­volved in the pro­tec­tion of the pres­i­dents of South Africa since 1984, in­clud­ing Nel­son Man­dela

I re­mem­ber when Jill Daniels, the youngest mem­ber of our unit, was turn­ing twenty-one and Madiba wanted to buy her some­thing for her birth­day. “Do we still have some of those books of mine in stock?” he asked, re­fer­ring to Long Walk to Free­dom. I said we did not, so he asked how much they cost as he wanted us to take him to the book­shop to buy a copy. Know­ing what chaos such a trip to the Gar­dens Cen­tre, Cape Town, would cause, I stalled and went on a fran­tic search for a crisp copy of Long Walk to Free­dom. Sergeant Syming­ton, a po­lice­man at Tuyn­huys, just hap­pened to have a new copy that he wanted Madiba to sign. It still had the price sticker on – R250. I rushed back to the pres­i­dent to an­nounce my find. Madiba was very per­turbed when I in­formed him of the price. “What? I told them that this book should never cost more than R150!”

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