Without Mandela South African history would have taken a completely different turn. And that is not just because of his charisma or status, but basically because of his leadership and initiative from Robben Island. It is a fact that it was he who triggered the negotiations . . . Tambo was absolutely irreplaceable: he kept the organisation going, he kept the people together. But when it came to facing the post-1990 period, the role of Mandela is absolutely unique.