Nelson Mandela's biography released in Paris

Paris- France (PANA) -- A biography of former South African President Nelson Mandela authored by British journalist Anthony Sampson, was released here Tuesday.
Entitled "Nelson Mandela, la victoire," the book edited by the Jeune Afrique Groupe covers the period between his release from prison in 1990 and when he decided to retire from political life, as well as his administration.
"I had access to confidential documents, I interviewed a number of Nelson Mandela's close associates I met for the first time in 1951.
My book aims to further expose this man who has become a world legend, admired and respected in Africa, Europe as well as America" the author said at a news conference to present his work here Tuesday.
He also expressed his intention to enable more French readers understand, through his 236-page book, the philosophy of the former South African head of state and his specific relations with the Arab Muslim world.
"My work explains how President Mandela managed to build a long term philosophy of forgiveness during his long period in detention.
It was illustrated by a unique relationship with Arab countries and Muslims some of whom he appointed as ministers," said Sampson, who also focused on Madiba's (Mandela) recent explosion of anger against US President George W.
Bush in connection with the war in Iraq.
"The episode on president Mandela's anger with Bush is not included in the book, but it is worth mentioning.
On one hand, it places Nelson Mandela, who has special relations with the Arab world, personally sensitive and endowed with a historical background, and Bush who lacks all these assets on the other," he said.
According to Sampson, there is a hidden aspect of the former South African leader which lies behind his image as a "great, serious and hardworking statesman.
" "In the book I wrote about the Mandela that people know little about.
The man who likes to dress well, good life and the company of pretty women.
I met him for the first time 52 years ago in a township bar when he was in a festive mood" said Anthony Sampson, adding Mandela authorised the biography.

07 october 2003 22:40:00

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