tribute jeremy maggs

When Ian Woodall and his party summited Mount Everest, I was anchoring the Saturday morning breakfast show on Radio 702 and I had the enviable job of linking via satellite phone Madiba to Woodall who was on top of the world.

We had Woodall on the phone and then Mandela was suddenly on the other line.

I said good morning to him on air and he proceeded to ask me how I was, how my family was, said how he enjoyed listening to the radio station and then wanted to point out a minor error he had heard in a news bulletin.

Given that the sat phone cost was a zillion rand a second I tried to hurry things up a little. He would have none of it, saying Woodall wasn't going anywhere, which of course was true.
Once I'd been lightly admonished, he proceeded to talk to Woodall and give him the country's congratulations.

I learnt then never to push Madiba in your direction because you simply had no chance.