Mission to South Africa - Robin Renwick
Mission to South Africa by Robin Renwick is an extraordinary insider's account. Renwick draws on his diaries of the time, as well as previously unpublished material from the Foreign Office and Downing Street files. On 2 February 1990, FW de Klerk made a speech that changed the history of South Africa. Nine days later, the world watched as Nelson Mandela walked free from the Victor Verster prison. In the midst of these events was Lord Renwick, Margaret Thatcher's envoy to South Africa, who became a personal friend of Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, acting as a trusted intermediary between them. He warned PW Botha against military attacks on neighbouring countries, in meetings he likens to 'calling on the fuhrer in his bunker'. He invited Mandela to his first meal in a restaurant for twenty-seven years, rehearsing him for his meeting with Margaret Thatcher - and told Thatcher that she must not interrupt him. Their discussion went on so long that the British press in Downing Street started chanting 'Free Nelson Mandela'.