Desmond van Rooyen

Sunday Times - - Insight Looking Back -

Van Rooyen be­gan pro­tect­ing Man­dela from 1994, af­ter he moved over from pres­i­dent FW de Klerk’s se­cu­rity team

I re­mem­ber the first time I was nom­i­nated to be the Num­ber One body­guard. I trav­elled with Madiba in the main ve­hi­cle, from Houghton to the Union Build­ings. Dur­ing the trip, he tapped me on the shoul­der and handed me his mo­bile phone. I took the phone from him. Madiba then asked me to please phone “Bill” for him. I asked him, “Which Bill sir?” And he replied, “Bill Clin­ton.”

I was as­tounded, but I was able to call the White House and link Pres­i­dent Clin­ton with Pres­i­dent Man­dela.

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