In A Nutshell
Nelson Mandela, world renowned for his imprisonment in South Africa as a political prisoner for 27 years and his ascendancy to president later in life, spent his entire life fighting the corrupt regime which tormented him and thousands of his fellow citizens for decades. More than anything else, his long imprisonment is what led to his fame and international respect. What many do not know is that his initial capture and arrest in 1962 was orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The Whole Bushel
At the time, Mandela was the leader of the African National Congress (ANC) during the period, which worked to overthrow South Africa’s white racist apartheid regime. His organization used both civil means and armed resistance to achieve its goal of equality and freedom for black citizens of the country, and due to its activities was declared a terrorist organization by many governments outside the country. Mandela was also given with this label by the United States itself and as such was forbidden to enter the country.
South Africa’s apartheid regime received support from corporations like IBM and Kodak, and even the US government. It was intelligence collaboration and sharing that pinpointed Mandela’s location for the regime in 1962. He was promptly arrested and given his first prison term—18 years. Many of his fellow freedom fighters and political activists were also arrested due to the assistance of both the CIA and the NSA.
It was only in 1986, when the regime’s days were numbered, that Congress finally called for Mandela’s release, backtracking from their position that he was a terrorist. Both the US and Great Britain realized that the unpopular regime had lost all international support, and that they had better come out on the right side of the conflict, even though the ANC was still listed as a terrorist organization.
George Bush Sr. met with Mandela on June 25, 1990 and hailed him as an international hero and champion of human rights. During preparations for the visit, then–Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater was asked if the President would apologize for helping to capture Mandela on behalf of the United States. Taken aback by the question, his only response was “I just don’t like it when people question our motives on blacks or on Mandela because of an incident that happened 20 years ago in another administration.”
To this day, the American government has issued no public statement of apology for its role in Mandela’s arrest and imprisonment.
Show Me The Proof
Global Research Centre: It was the CIA that helped jail Nelson Mandela
Business Insider: Lawsuit Filed Against CIA For Documents That May Show Agency Involved In Nelson Mandela Arrest
Democracy Now: “One of Our Greatest Coups”