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On that lovely autumn day I was accompanied by my daughter Zenani. On the podium, Mr de Klerk was first sworn in as second deputy president. Then Thabo Mbeki was sworn in as first deputy president. When it was my turn, I pledged to obey and uphold the Constitution and to devote myself to the well- being of the Republic and its people. To the assembled guests and the watching world, I said:



The third paragraph introduces three other personalities from Mandela's personal and political life: his daughter Zenani, the ex president Mr de Klerk, and a fellow member from African National Congress - Thabo Mbeki.


Mandela states that his daughter Zenani joined him on that beautiful autumn day. Zenani was one of Mandela's 6 children. In his first marriage with Evelyn Mase, he had four children- Madiba Thembekile Mandela (born 1945, died 13 July 1969 aged 24), Makaziwe Mandela (died 1948 aged nine months), Magkatho Lewanika Mandela (born 1950, died 6 January 2005 aged 55) and Pumla Makaziwe Mandela (born 1954). In his second marriage with Winnie Mandela, he had two daughters- Zenani Dlamini (born 1959) and Zindzi Mandela (born 1960). Through his third marriage with Graca Machel, he had two step children- Josina (born April 1976) and Malengane (born December 1978). 


Frederik Willem de Klerk, who was sworn in as the second deputy president on the podium, was, in fact, the president that Mandela had succeeded. Mr. de Klerk was a South African politician who served as state president of South Africa from 1989 to 1994. He was also South Africa's last head of state from the era of white-minority rule.

Thabo Mbeki was then sworn in as the first deputy president. Mbeki was a South African politician who would eventually become the second president of South Africa, from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008.


Following the swearing-in ceremonies of de Klerk and Mbeki, Mandela began taking his oath. He swore to obey and respect the Constitution, as well as to commit himself to the Republic's and people's well-being. Later, he addressed the gathering and the world that was watching.


We will look into his speech in the following chapters.


Meanings of difficult words:
Sl. No
AutumnA low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it
PodiumThe top of a mountain or hill
Swear in (Past: Sworn in)Having arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose
DeputyA heavy fall of rain
PledgeA brief and usually light fall of rain, hail, sleet, or snow
UpholdIn a way that involves detailed knowledge
ConstitutionA body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed

National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (pp. 16 - 23). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi..