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Published: Dec 06 , 2013
Author: David Bannister

“Please take your seats promptly after the coffee break” said the organiser at KPMG’s International Partners’ Conference in Cape Town in 1999. “We have a special guest”. Twenty minutes later the 150 or so of us at the conference watched Nelson Mandela, then approaching his eightieth birthday, walk slowly down the catwalk past us all and to the lectern in the centre. He carefully and deliberately read a prepared speech telling us how important it was for the city to be able to welcome such a distinguished group of international business leaders. It was a predictable address and I felt a little disappointed. “And finally…” he said as he folded up the paper from which he had been reading for ten minutes. There then followed an unscripted and fascinating twenty minutes when he spoke of the ANC’s accession to power in a democratic South Africa and how easy it would have been to settle old scores and seek bloody retribution for the years of racial oppression...

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