Mandela’s long-time personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, a white Afrikaner, reveals to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:
I was a full-on racist by the time I started working for him. Now looking back, if you [asked] me at the age of twenty-three I would probably have denied being a racist.Now it’s easier, because you can recognize the change in yourself.
She tells Amanpour that meeting Nelson was “the turning point in my life.”
He was kind. He smiled. He extended his hand, and he spoke to me in my own language. He spoke to me in Afrikaans. And that is the last thing you expect of him, because I was brought up to fear this man.