(page 40) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Page 40 of Nelson Mandela's Warders
Description: Page 40 of Nelson Mandela's Warders
Transcript: figures in the country. Mandela’s second note speaks to Gregory’s position as a lower ranking officer subject to censure from above, a situation Gregory seldom acknowledges in his book. Indeed, for the most part he is intent on portraying himself as the man in charge of and responsible for Mandela. Yet this could not be and clearly was not the case.
As his fellow warrant officers Swart and Brand have both alleged, Gregory frequently usurped the experiences of others in his narrative. The journalist Benjamin Pogrund has also alluded to this. One of the most glaring instances of this ‘appropriation’ concerns Mandela’s first supervised outing.
One day before Christmas  Lieutenant Colonel Gawie Marx, the deputy commander of Pollsmoor, wandered by my cell after breakfast and said quite casually, ‘Mandela would you like to see the city?’ Mandela uncertain what was afoot, nevertheless was in no mind to turn it down. They drove into the city and Mandela remarks about how ‘riveting’ it was to watch ordinary people going about their lives. Then they stop at ‘a small shop in a quiet street’ and Colonel Marx goes in to buy cold drinks. ...he disappeared inside the shop. I sat there alone. For the first few moments I did not think about my situation, but as the seconds ticked away, I became more and more agitated. For the first time in twenty-two years, I was out in the world and unguarded. (p633)
The point here is that Mandela is alone with Marx, neither Gregory nor Brand are present. The colonel took him on other excursions but soon, Mandela reports, ‘more junior officers were permitted to take me around.’ (p634)
One of these trips was made with Gregory and Brand to Langebaan. Gregory uses this trip to suggest that it was Mandela’s first excursion and that he (Gregory) was solely in charge. Not only solely in charge, in charge
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