Mandla Mandela joined GB News host Dan Wootton yesterday to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II shortly after Buckingham Palace had announced the 96-year-old monarch had passed away peacefully at Balmoral. Mr Mandela, who is the grandson of former South African President Nelson Mandela, even revealed personal details about telephone calls his grandfather exchanged with Her Majesty.
Speaking from Cape Town, Mr Mandela said: “This has been a shock to many throughout South Africa, the continent and the entire global community.
“It was totally unexpected as we had seen Her Majesty a couple of days ago on TV and she was looking frail but we never expected that in a few days we would be hearing the news of her passing.”
When asked about the late Queen’s relationship with the former South African President, he added: “Her Majesty was a very close friend to ‘Madiba’.
“She was the only person I have heard refer to my grandfather on a first name basis.
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“Every time she would be on the telephone with my grandfather she would always greet him with excitement and say in a humble voice ‘hello Nelson’.
“And I would always be surprised with the response afforded by my grandfather… ‘hello Elizabeth’.”
Addressing the similarities between South Africa’s first black President and Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Mr Mandela said: “They were both driven by a duty to serve the nation.
“My grandfather donated 67 years of his life serving humanity and Her Majesty was driven and bound to serve her nation and she carried it with total distinction.”
Elizabeth said she was “deeply saddened” when Nelson Mandela died in 2013 aged 95.
The Queen said the former South African president “worked tirelessly” for the good of his country, adding that his legacy is “the peaceful South Africa we see today”.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela”.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who previously served as secretary-general to Nelson Mandela during his stint as ANC leader, also paid tribute to the late Queen yesterday.
In a statement addressed to King Charles III, he said: “Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life.
“Her life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world.”
Ramaphosa added: “The Queen’s commitment and dedication during her 70 years on the throne remains a noble and virtuous example.”