Mandela had warned that after he retired he would feel free to criticise the leadership as an ordinary member of the ANC. But he knew that he was no ordinary member. He was careful not to upstage or embarrass Mbeki he largely avoided commenting on domestic affairs and talked mainly about the need for reconciliation and peacemaking. But his relations inevitably became trickier.At public occasions, Mandela inevitably overshadowed his successor and often won more applause. Some of his public statements went against Mbekis policies, while in private he became more critical. I dont want to be a praise singer, he explained after one closed ANC conference.I want to be objective, and I did indicate his weaknesses, which was unpalatable to many members.Mbeki in turn became more obviously resentful of Mandelas prominence.He sometimes omitted Mandela from state occasions, and was often slow to return his phone calls.Mbekis handling of Aids provoked the most obvious tensions, as he delayed facing and publicising the problem while Mandela was impatient for bolder action, to make up for his own past neglect.He was determined to break through the taboo. In August 2002, he publicly embraced a militant Aids activist Zachie Achmat who was HIV positive a powerful image that was reproduced round the world. And Mandela disclosed that three members of his own family had died of Aids. There is no shame, he said, to disclose a terminal disease from which you are suffering.