March 30, 1998 in Nation/World

Mandela Says Prison Gave Time To Think About His Life

Compiled From Wire Services
 

South African President Nelson Mandela says he sometimes misses prison because he had time to think there.

“There is a lot that I miss in my life in prison because there you could sit down and stand away from yourself and look at your track record and be able to discover the mistakes that were made,” Mandela said in a BBC interview broadcast Sunday.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail under South Africa’s previous white-minority government, last week showed President Clinton around Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for much of the time.

Mandela also said he would continue working for his African National Congress party when he steps down later this year.

“I will carry out any instructions which they give me, and therefore the long walk is not ended,” he said, referring to the title of his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.”

“The long walk will end when I am in my permanent resting place, and I have no doubt that I will wear a smile as I am being taken to my everlasting rest because I feel that, whatever problems we have, we have made significant progress.

“No other government in the environment in which we’re working could have achieved so much.”


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