RYNO GOUWS

Body­guard

YOU (South Africa) - - YOU NEWS -

I re­mem­ber one au­tumn morn­ing in 1995 at Mr Man­dela’s house in Houghton, Jo­han­nes­burg. It was a windy Satur­day and the leaves of at least half a tree were danc­ing around the spot­less cars we’d just cleaned, ready to de­part.

I was stand­ing chat­ting with Piet Irvia [Man­dela’s driver] when the front door of the house opened. It was Tata and I could tell he’d just wo­ken up and wanted to check the weather be­fore his day started. He made him­self vis­i­ble for a few sec­onds and re­treated back into the house.

Tata resur­faced about three min­utes later, dressed in fluffy slip­pers and a bathrobe, with a broom in his hand. He gave us a friendly greet­ing and started sweep­ing the drive­way. We were all stunned and didn’t re­ally know what to do. I im­me­di­ately froze and stood in ad­mi­ra­tion, watch­ing the great Nel­son Man­dela sweep­ing the drive­way.

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