When Nelson Mandela died in December 2013, he had not finished the second part of his memoir, Long Walk to Freedom.

The book was to cover his presidential years and he began writing it when he left office in 1999, after having served just one term. But ill-health and his determination to set up his foundation meant it was pushed down his list of priorities.

Then SA writer Mandla Langa was brought in to finish the work. He used Mandela’s unfinished draft as well as detailed notes that Mandela made, together with a wealth of previously unseen archive material. Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years was released this week.

The prologue is by Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, and the result is a vivid and often inspirational account of Mandela’s presidency.

Langa is an Umkhonto we Sizwe-trained soldier who lived for years in exile in Botswana, Mozambique and Angola.

He is also an acclaimed writer and journalist and was the first South African to be awarded the Arts Council of Great Britain bursary for creative writing.

In 2009 he won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best book in the African region and was the recipient of the presidential Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his literary and journalistic contribution to democracy in SA.

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