The 2 late heads of state met in July 1990 soon after Mandela’s release from prison.
Margaret Thatcher, the late British Prime Minister, met with the late President Nelson Mandela 5 months after his release from prison.
There was a huge build-up to the meeting and Robin Renwick, the ex-British High Commissioner to South Africa, prepped the 2 parties.
Renwick emphasised to Thatcher that Mandela had waited nearly 30 years for the meeting and described the meeting as a robust discussion regarding the new constitution.
Renwick also revealed that Thatcher was trying to teach Madiba Economics 101 as she thought he didn’t understand its fundamentals.
Following the meeting, Madiba praised Thatcher for her efforts to help secure his release from prison.
In a recent twist, The South African reported that cabinet papers revealed that Thatcher deemed Mandela not as intelligent as former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.
Charles Powell, who served as Thatcher’s private secretary for foreign affairs, disclosed that Thatcher felt disappointed by Mandela and labelled him as closed-minded.
A four-page note revealed the below quotes.
“He is not as intelligent as Mugabe, but a great deal nicer. In so far as Mandela understands anything about economics, his ideas were formed in the 1950s. He is an old-fashioned socialist, but has never been a communist.”
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