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SOME of the Mandela family welcomed Zelda la Grange’s memoirs at her book launch in Joburg on Thursday night.
This followed some criticism of her memoirs about Nelson Mandela, and reports that Mandela's daughter Makaziwe has threatened to sue La Grange over the book's allegations.
La Grange was the former president’s personal assistant for 19 years.
At the launch, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi and his grandson Chief Mandla Mandela defended her right to share her experiences with Madiba.
Zindzi said she was honouring her father by showing support at La Grange’s book launch.
“If my dad was here, he would have wanted me to be here. He himself would have been here.
“I’m just here to support a wonderful woman, a woman of integrity, a woman who has been kind to me over the years,” said Zindzi.
“We have had our fights with Zelda – we are both strong people – but we both emerged out of it. I just love her.”
Following the criticism around the book, Zindzi said people who had a close relationship with her father were entitled to share their experiences and perspectives of him.
“People are entitled to their own opinion.
“In principle I’m just saying that it’s important for people to tell their stories, who have actually worked with and known Tata, and it doesn’t stop any of us,” she said.
“If anyone has an interpretation, for example about my relationship with my father, so be it, because I haven’t told my story.
“And I think it’s important for the different facets of Tata to be known, especially for younger generations.”
Mandla Mandela shared the same sentiments.
“We have never sought to dictate how people who related closely with my grandfather thought of him.
“We indeed expect that many people will have experienced him in many different ways and therefore it is not for us to agree or differ with these,” he said.
The book is called Good Morning, Mr Mandela, and is published in English and Afrikaans.
It is expected to be a bestseller. - The Star and Reuters