Nelson R. Mandela and fellow African National Congress leader Oliver Tambo held an emotional reunion today after 28 years of separation.
A jubilant crowd of Swedes and Africans greeted Mandela and his wife, Winnie, at Stockholm airport. Standing in the remains of an overnight snowfall, they performed the toyi'toyi foot-stamping dance made popular by South African activists.
Mandela and Tambo, once law partners, had not seen each other since Mandela was jailed in South Africa and Tambo went into exile. South African President Frederik W. de Klerk freed Mandela and legalized the ANC last month in moves intended to promote white-black negotiations.
ANC spokesman David Kgabang described today's meeting as emotional.
"They were in university together, they started the ANC Youth League together, they opened the first black law practice in Johannesburg, they were in the heart of the struggle in the 1950s," Kgabang said. "What would you expect?"
Kgabang said the two men did not talk about politics but are expected to discuss the situation in South Africa in meetings later this week.
Seven members of the ANC's 35-member national executive board are now in Stockholm, including Secretary-General Alfred Nzo and Thabo Mbeki, a foreign relations expert.
Mandela, 71, and Tambo last saw each other in London in 1962 during one of their trips outside South Africa to muster support for the African National Congress. Mandela returned to South Africa soon after the London visit and was jailed for plotting against white-minority rule. Tambo remained in exile, leading the campaign for black equality as ANC president until he suffered a stroke seven months ago. Now 72, he is recovering in a Stockholm clinic.