Jacob Zuma

Friend denies reports of family row over Nelson Mandela funeral

A friend of the Mandelas has denied reports of family row over funeral arrangements for the ailing 94-year-old who is in a critical condition at a Pretoria hospital. South African media reported a rift had emerged over where Nelson Mandela should be buried, with his grandson Mandla wanting him interred in the village of Mvezo, where the anti-apartheid leader was born, while others supported Qunu, where he grew up.

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No Time Like The Present, By Nadine Gordimer

Something of a teenage prodigy, Nadine Gordimer published her first story in a Johannesburg magazine before the Second World War. Her debut collection, Face to Face, appeared in 1949, just after apartheid became state policy in South Africa but before its cornerstones were laid. Now, aged 88, after 14 novels, ten volumes of stories, multiple book-bannings by the apartheid state and scores of landmark essays (not to mention the Nobel and Booker prizes), she returns with an impassioned family saga of post-liberation dreams, shocks and fears, as alert and nuanced – tormented, even – as any of her works. You would need to go back to the 19th century, and the career of a Victor Hugo, to find another example of a major writer who has listened so closely, for so long, to a nation's beating heart.