Jan van der Walt

Sunday Times - - Insight Looking Back -

Van der Walt was a medic in the South African Mil­i­tary Health Ser­vice. He worked for Man­dela from 1995 to 1999

I re­mem­ber, dur­ing one of my first flights with Mr Man­dela, we trans­ferred from his plane to a mil­i­tary Oryx he­li­copter. All the del­e­gates and body­guards boarded the he­li­copter, then Mr Man­dela. I was last to board and there were no more seats. I could not stay be­hind and de­cided to sit on the floor. Mr Man­dela had a re­served seat, which was big enough for two peo­ple. He ges­tured to me to join him. As a nine­teen-year-old, this ges­ture meant the world to me.

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