The world pays tribute to Mandela (slideshow)
As South Africans come to terms with the loss of former president Nelson Mandela, the rest of the world bids farewell to Madiba.
Pimples: Saving Madiba's rabbit (video)
Gwede, Mac and Blade try their best to stop the rabbit from whispering in Mandela's ear. But the elusive animal has some tricks up its sleeve.
Zapiro's best Madiba cartoons (slideshow)
From his toughest moments to his most triumphant, Madiba has been an inspiration. Here are some of our favourite Zapiro cartoons about him from 1994 to 2013.
Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
Kobie Coetsee’s ''team" which has been involved in dialogue with Nelson Mandela is made up of top government ministers Pik Botha, Stoffel van der Merwe and Gerrit Viljoen. The ministers of foreign affairs, Information and education have, according to the London journal Front File, had "a spate of contacts with Mandela in recent months".
Along with Justice Minister Coetsee, they would constitute the ''team of four” which, the Weekly Mail revealed last week, is believed to have been in direct contact with Mandela for almost three years. It was reported that the ''team" had been unable to persuade Mandela to compromise on some of the African National Congress' long-held principles, and that element of the security establishment were concerned that the veteran leader had "gained the upper hand" in the contact process.
Approached yesterday to comment about the existence of the contact ''team", Coetsee said in a statement: ''Rumours on the topic of Mr Nelson Mandela are of course rife. The issues on which you invite comments may be classified to fall within this framework." Botha was unable to comment at short notice because of other engagements, and no response to the Weekly Mail's enquiries was received from Van der Merwe or Viljoen.
Front File further revealed that the meeting between Mandela and State President PW Botha on July 5 had been mooted for a full year before it took place, and claimed it had taken so long to come to fruition because of Botha's stroke in January. Front File says Mandela was probably only told about the actual timing the night before, as Winnie Mandela has said, but that he had been aware of the likelihood for a long time. Mandela had, says Front File, agreed that ''the meeting should be kept secret for the time being in order to allow further contacts to take place''
Hennie Serfontein adds that the dramatic change in Mandela's living circumstances - from prison cell on Robben Island to warder's bungalow in the Cape winelands - is closely linked to his contacts with government officials. Diplomatic and security sources said the decision not to return Mandela to ''normal" conditions of imprisonment had much to do with the need to ensure secrecy for his meet¬ings with the ''team of four''. It is understood that a related, central reason for having Mandela sent to the hospital section of Pollsmoor Prison after his return from a Cape Town clinic in August 1986 was to separate him from his jailed ANC colleagues. But the issue of secrecy was paramount: for the talks to continue, Mandela's visitors had to be able to arrive and leave without creating undue interest.
On one occasion, Mandela was allegedly whisked out of Pollsmoor in the early evening to a meeting at a private venue, only to return in the early hours of the morning. But because of fears that the warders - many of whom are Conservative Party supporters - might start asking questions, it was decided last year to keep him in hospital for several months after he had fully recovered from his tuberculosis. The dual needs of secrecy and isolation were also the key factors in the decision at the end of last year to move him to the converted warder's bungalow in the grounds of Victor Verster jail outside Paarl - Shaun Johnson and Hennie Serfontein
This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.