Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from a South African prison, but the 91-year-old won’t return to the site of his 27-year incarceration to join in a retracing of his steps to freedom over concerns that he’s too frail for the task. The abrupt announcement came today from the African National Congress, which Mandela led and in which his ex-wife is still powerful.
Sources tell the Times of London there’s a power struggle among Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, other family members, and Mandela’s current wife. “Something very strange has been going on. Wild horses would not keep Winnie away from an event like that. Everyone knows that if Mandela himself went, front-page news was guaranteed,” said one. “Others would be jealous, but he is very frail and it is difficult to stage-manage an event like that.”