Ahmed Kathrada, ANC Activist
*** This programme was first broadcast on 13 October, 2010 ***
"What hit us very hard was the humiliation, the callousness, of apartheid." Ahmed Kathrada, Mandela's close friend, talks about their days together on Robben Island.
Ahmed Kathrada was a leading ANC activist and politician. They were arrested with other ANC activists in the infamous Rivonia case and found guilty of sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government and given life sentences with hard labour.
He tells Matthew Bannister how they coped with the hard labour, about smuggling Mandela's autobiography out of prison and his confusion with the modern world on his release after 25 years.
Ahmed went on to become Mandela's Parliamentary Counsellor. Now, Mandela has asked him to travel the world to publicise a new book called "Conversations With Myself", in which the former South African President reveals his personal archives, including diaries, letters and hours of private recordings.
"Conversations with Myself" by Nelson Mandela is published on 15 October by Macmillan.