We drove up to Howick in the mist and rain today, but it was a great day to visit my good friends Nigel and Glenys Wood. Nigel was my mentor in politics in the early days when I was still studying law at University. Nigel followed in his father's footsteps and was elected Member of Parliament for the Berea constituency in the 1977 General Election in South Africa.
I joined the New Republic Party that election and cast a vote for the first time. In 1981 in my final year of Law the next General Election was called and with the help and guidance of Nigel and Glenys and my good friend Dave Burden I stood for Parliament in the Port Natal Constituency - a government stronghold. It was one of the few seats available to contest as our Party governed the Province of Natal and we had 10 seats in Parliament.. mostly in the Durban area. I was Youth President of the Party at the time and at 21 the youngest to stand for Parliament. In the end out of 10 000 votes, I lost by 600 against the National Party Government Deputy Cabinet Minister. Not too bad for a first attempt.