Transcript of Mandela's last entry in his prison diary

11 June 2013

By Pan Macmillan

Mandela’s stay in the house in Victor Verster Prison was a time of transition between imprisonment and freedom. Dated 13 January 1990, this is the very last diary entry he made while in prison.

Flock of ducks walks clumsily into the lounge and loiter about apparently unaware of my presence. Males with loud colours, but keeping their dignity and not behaving like playboys. Moments later they become aware of my presence. If they got a shock they endured it with grace. Nevertheless, I detect some invisible feeling of unease on their part. It seems as if their consciences are worrying them, and although I feared that very soon their droppings will decorate the expensive carpet, I derive some satisfaction when I notice that their consciences are worrying them. Suddenly they squawk repeatedly and then fi le out. I was relieved. They behave far better then my grandchildren. They always leave the house upside down.