Page 418. " Walter Mitty of Afrikaner supremacists, naked and humiliated again "

 Walter Mitty is a fictional character in James Thurber’s short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, first published in The New Yorker in 1939, and in book form in My World and Welcome to It in 1942.  It was made into a firm in 1947.  Mitty is a meek, mild man with a vivid fantasy life. He imagines himself a wartime pilot, an emergency-room surgeon, and a devil-may-care killer.

The term ‘Walter Mitty’ has come to be used to refer to an ineffectual dreamer, a person who indulges in fantastic daydreams but never actually achieves anything. 

Page 420. " the doors of Victor Verster prison swung open, and Nelson Mandela stepped out "

Nelson Mandela was freed from Victor Verster prison, in Paarl, on 11 February 1990.  He had been in prison for 27 years. Much of that time had been spent in the maximum security facility on Robben Island. In 1984, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, and in 1988 to the low security Victor Verster prison. The move was to allow for Mandela to participate in a series of clandestine meetings with National Party government and other leading ANC figures, toward negotiating the unbanning of the ANC and the transfer of power to a democratically elected government. 

Mandela appeared at the gates of the prison just after 4pm, an hour after he was expected to be released.  Holding hands with his wife Winnie, he punched the air in the ANC power salute, before climbing into a car to be driven to Cape Town, where about 50,000 people gathered outside the City Hall, to hear him speak in public for the first time in almost three decades. 

Page 422. " like a hallucination from a Marquez novel "
Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1984
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGabriel Garcia Marquez 1984 - Credit: F3rn4nd0

Gabriel García Márquez (born 6 March 1927) is a Columbian novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.  He is best-known for his novels One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). His literary style is magical realism – he uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary situations.

One Hundred Years of Solitude Cover
Public DomainOne Hundred Years of Solitude Cover
García Márquez has said that his political and ideological views were strongly shaped by his grandfather who, instead of telling him fairy tales when he was a child, would regale him with horrifying accounts of the Thousand Days War.  He was also inspired by the way his grandmother treated the extraordinary as something perfectly natural, filling his childhood with stories of ghosts and premonitions, omens and portents, and providing him with a way of looking at reality through a magical, superstitious and supernatural lens.  Several of his works incorporate magical realism, a style whereby frightful and unusual things are told with the deadpan expression, as simple fact.