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Pan Macmillan

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Cape Town launch: Dare Not Linger by Mandla Langa (28 November)

‘I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.’

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first president of a democratic South Africa. From the outset, he was committed to serving only a single five-year term. During his presidency, he and his government ensure that all South Africa’s citizens became equal before the law, and laid the foundations for turning a country riven by centuries of colonialism and apartheid into a fully functioning democracy.

Dare Not Linger is the story of Mandela’s presidential years, drawing heavily on the memoir he began to write as he prepared to finish his term of office but was unable to finish. Now, acclaimed South African writer Mandla Langa has completed the task, using Mandela’s unfinished draft, detailed notes that Mandela made as events were unfolding and a wealth of unseen archive material. With a prologue by Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, the result is a vivid and often inspirational account of Mandela’s presidency and the creation of a new democracy. It tells the extraordinary story of a country in transition and the challenges Mandela faced as he strove to make his vision for a liberated South Africa a reality.

Nelson Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies for many years before being arrested in August 1962. Mandela was incarcerated for more than twenty-seven years, during which his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to the anti-apartheid movement grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom. He died on 5 December 2013, at the age of ninety-five.

Mandla Langa was born in 1950 in Durban, South Africa. After being arrested in 1976, he went into exile and has lived in Botswana, Mozambique and Angola, where he did his Umkhonto weSizwe (the armed wing of the African National Congress) military training, as well as Hungary, Zambia and the United Kingdom, where he was the African National Congress’s cultural representative. A writer and journalist, he was the first South African to be awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain bursary for creative writing, and he has been a columnist for the Sunday Independent and the New Nation. In 2007, he was the recipient of the presidential Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his literary and journalistic contribution to democracy in South Africa. He is also the author of several acclaimed novels, including The Lost Colours of the Chameleon, which won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the African region.

Graça Machel was born in Gaza, Mozambique, in 1945. She was a member of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO) which fought for and won independence from Portugal in 1975. A teacher, human rights activist, international advocate for women’s and children’s rights, and politician, she was – from 1975 until his death in 1986 – married to Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique. She married Nelson Mandela on his eightieth birthday in July 1998. Among her numerous awards for her humanitarian work, she was a recipient of the United Nations’ Nansen Medal in 1995, and in 2007 she was made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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