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Say Anything: Makgatho Mandela (1951-2005)

January 2005

Makgatho Mandela (1951-2005)
"I announce that my son has died of AIDS. Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like [tuberculosis], like cancer, is always to come out and to say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS. And people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary."

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson R. Mandela announcing the death of his only surviving son, Makgatho Mandela, of AIDS-related complications January 6, 2005. Although he officially retired from public life in 2004, the 86-year-old former South African leader -- and one of Africa's most committed campaigners in the battle against AIDS -- has kept a busy schedule promoting his various causes, chief among them the fight against South Africa's devastating AIDS epidemic. His 54-year-old son was a lawyer with a background in insurance who kept a relatively low profile. He had been married twice and had three sons, all of whom appeared with their grandfather as he announced the cause of their father's death.

Photo: AP/Wide World Photos.

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