Thatcher and Mandela were on the same side

From: David Schofield, Greenway Close, Leeds.

THE letter from Ian Barnes (Yorkshire Post, December 14) is most unfair in trying to set Margaret Thatcher against Nelson Mandela when in fact both were on the same side over South Africa 30 years ago.

After freeing Rhodesia from white minority government in the early 1980s, Mrs Thatcher appointed Sir Robin Renwick as ambassador to South Africa with orders to work for Mandela’s release.

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Mandela himself recognised Mrs Thatcher’s help, which is why she was the first Western leader he came to see after leaving prison in 1990, to thank her for her lobbying on his behalf. South African President FW de Klerk credited her with averting a “devastating racial war”.

At the same time Mrs Thatcher was working to bring about the end of Communism in Europe and an end to the Russian missiles pointing in our direction.

We owe her our thanks.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

NOT surprisingly since his death, much has been said and written about Nelson Mandela. He has been described as being a good man, terrorist, freedom fighter, humble, kind, patient, understanding, tireless, hard working, sympathetic, unruffled, lovable, a family man, having great sense of humour, brave, an icon and much more.

Sadly, today’s South Africa is not even remotely like the nation Mandela had hoped to build. This is largely because no other African politician or leader is in the same league as Mandela. I think the best, fairest and most appropriate title for Nelson Mandela is “a very clever man”.