Friday, December 6, 2013

De-classified CIA documents reveal Mandela’s Violent History with the African National Congress

A de-classified CIA Central Intelligence bulletin from October 1961 reveals Mandela’s radical leadership within the African National Congress (ANC). Following a May 1961 General strike led by Mandela, the CIA reported that “leaders of the outlawed African National Congress reportedly decided to enter a ‘second-phase’ of anti-government activity, in which the emphasis would be on sabotage.”

The document continues, declaring that “Nelson Mandela, who led the strike campaign in May, reportedly stated in Mid-September that an ANC sabotage campaign would begin in the near future. Mandela said that the campaign would concentrate initially on telephone lines and government offices but later might include roadblocks and railroad sabotage.”

In order to carry out these sabotage campaigns, on December 16, 1961, Nelson Mandela co-founded the “Umkhonto we Sizwe”, the militant arm of the African National Congress. The Manifesto of Umkhonto we Sizwe, also known as “MK”, issued in December 1961 declared: We are striking out along a new road for the liberation of the people of this country. The government policy of force, repression and violence will no longer be met with non-violent resistance only!”

The Declaration was accompanied by a series of bombings in Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg, the first of many violent acts perpetrated by the MK with Mandela as its leader. As a result of their actions, in 1963, Mandela and seven other members of the MK high command were sentenced to life in prison for 193 acts of sabotage.

“...we expect terrorist activities to increase over the long term and take place over a more extensive area."

Another de-classified CIA document from March 1979, describes Nelson Mandela’s continued leadership of the African National Congress despite his being imprisoned since 1964.

The document also states that: “ANC leaders believe that terrorism, civil disorder, strikes, and propaganda are the only practical means now available to break down authority in South Africa.”

The CIA intelligence brief reveals that the ANC claimed “credit for about half the terrorist attacks in South Africa since 1975", that the organization had “long been strongly oriented toward the USSR”, and that the “USSR, as well as East Germany and Cuba, have been receiving ANC recruits selected for political training.”

According to the report, the African National Congress hoped “their efforts would gradually lead to the breaking down of South African Government authority and encourage growing numbers of blacks to support their cause.” 

“In support of this strategy,”  the CIA stated, “we expect terrorist activities to increase over the long term and take place over a more extensive area."

That 1979 CIA prediction proved to be correct. 

Beginning with the Silverton bank siege in January 1980, during which 3 police officers and 2 female hostages were killed, the African National Congress and Mandela’s MK launched a long and bloody terror campaign in South Africa. 
According to the ANC website the MK committed 90 “armed actions” in 1981 alone. 
The website for the Nelson Mandela Foundation maintains a partial list of “MK operations” with details from terror attacks included bombings at police stations, courthouses, recruiting offices, as well as supermarkets, fast food outlets, and shopping centers, including the 1983 Church St. car bomb that killed nineteen and the 1985 Amanzimtoti bombing that killed five, including three children. 
In June of 1985, at the second ANC National Consultative conference, at the height of its terrorist activities,  the African National Congress and the MK affirmed its position regarding civilian casualties, proclaiming:
Up to now our dedication to the avoidance of racial confrontation has often prevented us from dealing telling blows against the enemy and his installations for fear that white civilians would be caught in the cross-fire or be killed or injured in the vicinity of an enemy installation.
We have even inhibited ourselves from inflicting direct blows against whites who are ostensibly civilians but are in fact part of the military, paramilitary and security machine.
The escalating brutality perpetrated daily against our people is now creating a new situation. We can no longer allow our armed activities to be determined solely by the risk of such civilian casualties. We believe that the time has come when those who stand in solid support of the race tyranny and who are its direct or indirect instruments, must themselves begin to feel the agony of our counter-blows.”

In January 1985, facing increased upheaval and fearing that the aging Mandela would die in prison, State President P.W. Botha had offered Mandela a sixth opportunity to be released from prison. 
A de-classified CIA Memorandum entitled “Nelson Mandela: What if Alive and Well and Free in South Africa?” from September 1986 detailing Mandela’s ideology and potential outcomes of his release reported that:
“We do not think Mandela will change his mind on the issue of his unconditional release. He almost certainly believes that his remaining in prison serves the black cause than his accepting a conditional release. He evidently calculates that his continued imprisonment keeps international attention focused on the South Africa problem and discredits government reform efforts that do not include him.”

The latest offer of freedom from President Botha had but only one condition: that Mandela unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon.

Nelson Mandela declined the offer, refusing to renounce violence and proclaiming in a statement published by the ANC: 
"I am a member of the African National Congress. I have always been a member of the African National Congress and I will remain a member of the African National Congress until the day I die."

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