[What follows is an excerpt from an interview published on the Telegraph website with Zelda la Grange, for many years personal assistant to Nelson Mandela, on the occasion of the publication of her book Good Morning, Mr Mandela:]
"Madiba always inherently looked for the good in people, I always expected the worst," she said. "Now I accept all people have got good and bad. I'm not so cynical any more, I trust people more easily." She defended her former employer's friendships with controversial characters including Colonel Gaddafi, Libya's late leader (...).
"With Gaddafi, he would never condone something like the killing of innocent civilians, we all know he had very strong morals," she said.
"But he negotiated with him to deliver the Lockerbie bombing suspects and Gaddafi delivered on that promise.
"He was considerate towards him, he was never impatient with him or disrespectful. Gaddafi did terrible things but you have to respect the man for keeping his promise."
[This blog’s perspective on the part played by Nelson Mandela in the Lockerbie saga can be found here.]