Nelson Mandela wrote about his feelings when he left prison in 1990:
“As I walked out of the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
Unfortunately, 1990 is where Mandela’s history begins and in 1999 is where it ends for most people. There is more.
Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, is a giant in the world of liberation heroes, up there with Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
But unlike Gandhi, who said that nonviolence and truth were inseparable, and King, who famously declared that violence was immoral, Mandela embraced armed struggle to end the racist system of apartheid.
Mandela was instrumental in the use of violence in South Africa:
An irony of Nelson Mandela’s life is that the African National Congress freedom fighter will forever be remembered as a man of peace. That could not have been envisioned in 1961, when Mandela helped persuade the ANC that violence was necessary to get whites to share power with South Africa’s black majority.
Mandela was co-founder of the MK, or “Tip of the Spear”, an organization created to conduct guerilla warfare against the South African government. Mandela is reported to have written an MK manifesto including the following:
“Our men are armed and trained freedom fighters not terrorists.
We are fighting for democracy—majority rule—the right of the Africans to rule Africa.
We are fighting for a South Africa in which there will be peace and harmony and equal rights for all people.
We are not racialists, as the white oppressors are. The African National Congress has a message of freedom for all who live in our country.”
Mandela’s MK killed many people:
Landmark events in MK’s military activity inside South Africa consisted of actions designed to intimidate the ruling power. In 1983, the Church Street bomb was detonated in Pretoria near the South African Air Force Headquarters, resulting in 19 deaths and 217 injuries. During the next 10 years, a series of bombings occurred in South Africa, conducted mainly by the military wing of the African National Congress.
In the 1985 Amanzimtoti bomb on the Natal South Coast, five civilians were killed and 40 were injured when MK cadre Andrew Sibusiso Zondo detonated an explosive in a rubbish bin at a shopping centre shortly before Christmas. In a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the ANC stated that Zondo acted on orders after a recent SADF raid in Lesotho.
In the 1986 Durban beach-front bombing, a bomb was detonated in a bar, killing three civilians and injuring 69. Robert McBride received the death penalty for this bombing which became known as the “Magoo’s Bar bombing”. Although the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation Committee called the bombing a “gross violation of human rights”, McBride received amnesty and became a senior police officer.
In 1987, an explosion outside a Johannesburg court killed three people and injured 10; a court in Newcastle had been attacked in a similar way the previous year, injuring 24. In 1987, a bomb exploded at a military command centre in Johannesburg, killing one person and injuring 68 personnel.
The bombing campaign continued with attacks on a series of soft targets, including a bank in Roodepoort in 1988, in which four civilians were killed and 18 injured. Also in 1988, in a bomb detonation outside a magistrate’s court killed three. At the Ellis Park rugby stadium in Johannesburg, a car bomb killed two and injured 37 civilians. A multitude of bombs in “Wimpy Bar” fast food outlets and supermarkets occurred during the late 1980s, killing and wounding many people. Wimpy were specifically targeted because of their perceived rigid enforcements of many Apartheid-era laws, including excluding people of colour from their restaurants. Several other bombings occurred, with smaller numbers of casualties.
Mandela’s tenure in prison softened him and he turned away from violence, but so not his wife. She continued on, seeming to endorse a particularly brutal tactic known as “necklacing.”
The following five years were increasingly controversial. In 1986 she made a speech in which she talked about achieving liberation from apartheid by using “necklaces” – a reference to the brutal murder of suspected collaborators by putting tyres round their necks and setting them alight. There was also the matter of an opulent £125,000 house built in one of the poorest areas in the country.
Winnie Mandela also maintained a gang of enforcers:
The most serious allegations, however, stemmed from the activities of her personal bodyguards, the so-called Mandela United Football Club. Reports of their brutality were commonplace in Soweto and her house was attacked in 1988 by local people who had had enough.
Mrs Mandela refused to curb the team’s activities, however, and the following year came the decisive incident. A 14-year-old activist, Stompei Seipei Moketsi, was kidnapped by her guards and later found murdered. The ANC leadership declared that she was out of control but Nelson Mandela, in jail and in ill-health, refused to repudiate her.
They divorced in 1996.
Necklacing was a punishment exacted on blacks who were believed to be collaborators with the apartheid regime:
The practice became a common method of lethal lynching during disturbances in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s. Necklacing sentences were sometimes handed down against alleged criminals by “people’s courts” established in black townships as a means of circumventing the apartheid judicial system. Necklacing was also used to punish members of the black community who were perceived as collaborators with the apartheid regime. These included black policemen, town councilors and others, as well as their relatives and associates. The practice was frequently carried out in the name of the African National Congress (ANC), and was even interpreted to have been implicitly endorsed by Winnie Mandela, then-wife of the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and a senior member of the ANC, although the ANC officially condemned the practice.
The first recorded victim of necklacing was the young girl Maki Skosana in July 1985
“ Her body had been scorched by fire and some broken pieces of glass had been inserted into her vagina, Moloko told the committee.
Mandela was apprehended, tried and convicted of sabotage in 1964 and sentenced to life in prison.
In 1985 Mandela was offered amnesty in return for renouncing violence but he refused, insisting that apartheid be dismantled first.
Later in 1985 South African President P.W. Botha initiated a series of meetings with Mandela, with Kobie Coetsee as his representative. The negotiations led to a meeting between Mandela and Botha in 1989, and Mandela’s release seemed certain. FW de Klerk became President in 1989, lifted the ban on the ANC and promised an end to apartheid and white rule. Mandela was then released in 1990.
There is a very interesting conversation with Coetsee here. It’s worth your time.
Mandela became President in 1994 and served until 1999. His legacy is the end of apartheid and white rule but it would be very wrong to believe South Africa’s problems are over. What came of those changes?
South Africa is a mess.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela didn’t coin the term “Rainbow Nation” or the phrase “Proudly South African.” But the optimism, determination and compassion of the country at its best owed everything to him.
In recent years, however, South Africa under the leadership of the African National Congress that Mandela loved is often quite different — shoddy, corrupt and incompetent. In short, depressingly like other African countries betrayed by liberation movements.
While life has gradually improved for many, problems once attributed to apartheid stubbornly remain. Nearly two decades after the ANC took power, poor education and healthcare systems still hold back many blacks. The police, no longer dominated by whites, are still brutal. Government departments still treat people with callous disregard.
Despite the existence of a powerful black elite and the growth of a modest black middle class, 40% of the population gets by on less than $40 a month per family member. Whites still earn six times more than blacks. And some analysts say the absolute electoral dominance of the ANC weakens South Africa’s democracy.
The ANC rules, but it doesn’t seem to care.
“We’ve been betrayed by our brothers and sisters,” said Sibusiso Zikode, spokesman for a grass-roots organization of shack-dwellers. “There’s no difference from the apartheid government. It’s a question of human dignity. Treat me as a human being.
“While I’m waiting 20 years for a house, give me water,” he said. “Why would I not get water?”
Bongisisa Gwiliza, a laborer who lives in a shantytown outside Rustenburg, said South Africa’s new leaders did not keep their promises to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
“There’s no sanitation. The place is so dirty,” he said. “The shacks have got holes. When it rains, it floods. There’s a lot of rain coming in. When there’s wind, there’s a lot of wind coming in, and it’s very cold.”
Crime is rampant.
The levels of extreme violence and crime remain high, particularly crime against women. In several cases this year, teenage girls were raped, mutilated and left to die.
During the apartheid years, South Africans living in black townships feared and loathed the police force that the white minority government used as a tool of oppression. When police killed 34 protesting miners outside Johannesburg in 2012, the echo of apartheid-era police brutality shocked the nation.
In early 2013, several police were charged with murder in the death of a Mozambican taxi driver, who was handcuffed to a police car, dragged hundreds of yards along a road and beaten, in an incident caught on cellphone video. The victim died that night of horrific injuries.
Statistics from the independent police watchdog group suggest those incidents are the tip of the iceberg, with 720 deaths in police custody reported in 2011-12. Analysts are uncertain why South Africa’s police force remains so violent. Some blame the policies of former chief Bheki Cele, who sought more powers to deal with heavily armed gangs in a country with one of the globe’s highest rates of violent crime.
Anti-white violence has reached epidemic proportions:
Thousands of white people in South Africa are subjected to atrocious acts of racist violence by black population while South African authorities and media keep silent and reticent. Somehow, the same media stirs tumult over human rights when it comes to the Sahara conflict, usually accusing Morocco of human rights abuse and lobbying against its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“If your house is made of glass, don’t pelt others with stone.” It seems that South Africa doesn’t apply this golden rule when it goes blind to the increasing ‘black on white’ violence and deaf to the cries of hundreds of children, women, and men killed, tortured or raped by the black people.
It’s blatantly hypocritical of the South African government to claim it is defending the rights of the Sahroui people while human rights have been continuously abused since 1994, when the National African Congress took over government of South Africa. Maintaining the apartheid practices at home and claiming the defense of human rights abroad is simply a double standards and hypocritical approach.
Since the eve of 2013, 230 ‘black on white’ attacks were reported on the South African soil according to CNNiReport. 97 were murdered, 17 women and 2 men were raped usually by a whole gang, 3 people were left with permanent brain damage and one person paralyzed.
There were also 102 farm attacks during which 30 people were murdered. Morocco World News has obtained a detailed list of 55 white women murdered by unknown black males since 15 May 2012 to date in South Africa. This appalling genocide, white South Africans claim, has been going on for the past 20 years while the world kept quiet and enjoyed the show.
It goes largely ignored by the media. More can be seen here.
The problems in South Africa are exacerbated by the election of two successive buffoons:
Mbeki denied the link between HIV and AIDS, and was slow to distribute life-saving antiretroviral drugs. AIDS activists had to take his government to court to force the distribution of medication to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the HIV virus.
And Mandela’s ringing moral authority stood in sharp contrast to Zuma, who has battled corruption charges and questions about his personal behavior. He was acquitted of rape in 2006, but was criticized for having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive family friend about half his age.
Zuma once claimed that he could reduce his chances of contracting AIDS following engaging in unprotected sex with an HIV positive woman by taking a shower.
Zuma has done well for himself as President.
A newspaper investigation found that Zuma’s family had extensive high-level corporate ties and dozens of their own businesses, many of which were established after Zuma became leader of the ANC in 2007.
Needing an enemy as a distraction from the woes he helped create (does that sound familiar?), Zuma assures South Africa that he will seize the economy away from white males:
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe did much the same thing to disastrous results.
Here Zuma sings a song about killing Boers (white farmers)
To his credit, Mandela dabbled in capitalism and sought foreign investment but his successors have only made things worse:
When he became South Africa’s first black president after winning the nation’s first multi-race elections in 1994, Mandela actively wooed foreign investors. Instead of nationalizing companies, he persuaded the ANC to move away from its socialist ethos and embrace a free and open economy, which fueled South Africa’s economic growth for years.
Today, however, that legacy is under fire. Unemployment remains at nearly 25 percent; whites on average earn six times more than their black counterparts. The ANC youth wing has lobbied hard for the nationalization of banks and mines; according to the Municipal IQ, a Johannesburg-based research group, last year there were a record 173 protests, many of them violent, over a lack of housing, jobs, and basic services. According to World Bank statistics, South Africa remains one of the world’s most economically unequal societies.
A couple of other observations. A man named Tony Hollingsworth claims to be the person who transformed Mandela from terrorist to beloved icon.
Hollingsworth, now 55, envisaged a star-studded concert that would transform Mandela from outlaw to icon in the public’s mind, and in turn press governments adopt a more accommodating stance.
He approached Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, president of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, to pitch his musical strategy.
“I told Trevor that the African National Congress and the anti-apartheid movement had reached their glass ceiling; they couldn’t go further.”
“Everything you are doing is ‘anti’, you are protesting on the streets, but it will remain in that space. Many people will agree, but you will not appeal them.”
“Mandela and the movement should be seen as something positive, confident, something you would like to be in your living room with.”
While Hollingsworth dealt with artists, Mike Terry — head of the movement in London — dealt with the ANC and the sceptics in the anti-apartheid movement.
And there were many, including Mandela himself, who asked several times that the struggle not be about him.
Many others insisted the focus remain on sanctions against the apartheid regime.
“A lot of people were criticising me for sanitising it,” Hollingsworth remembered.
Eventually Terry convinced the ANC and Hollingsworth convinced Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Sting, George Michael, The Eurythmics, Eric Clapton, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder into the 83-artist line up.
With that musical firepower came contracts for a more than 11 hour broadcast.
“We signed with the entertainment department of television (stations). And when the head of the department got home and watched on his channel that they were calling Mandela a terrorist, they called straight to the news section to say, don’t call this man a terrorist, we just signed 11 hours of broadcasting for a tribute about him.”
“This is how we turned Mandela from a black terrorist into a black leader.”
In a mystifying act, Mandela is seen in 2006 participating in a song calling for the killing of whites:
FYI- it was George W. Bush who removed Mandela from the Terror Watch list.
Nelson Mandela lived two quite different lives. One of violence and death and one of peace. His violent past has been almost totally purged by the media. His greatest achievements came through peace. Mandela could have spent more time being as critical of his successors as he was of the United States. Who was better off being in South Africa? Know anyone who wants to live there? While Mandela is to be admired for the good he did, it is important not to sanitize his life:
From their perspective, Mandela’s critics were right to distrust him. They called him a “terrorist” because he had waged armed resistance to apartheid. They called him a “communist” because the Soviet Union was the ANC’s chief external benefactor and the South African Communist Party was among its closest domestic allies. More fundamentally, what Mandela’s American detractors understood is that he considered himself an opponent, not an ally, of American power. And that’s exactly what Mandela’s American admirers must remember now.