On The CIA's Role In Nelson Mandela's 1962 Arrest

Tyler Durden's picture

While we don't want to detract in any way from the world's mourning the passage of one of 20th century's most luminary personalities, we can't help but be confused by the hypocrisy exhibited by certain members of the US government. The reason: it was none other than the US government-controlled Central Intelligence Agency that was instrumental in Nelson Mandela's 1962 arrest that resulted in his 27 year imprisonment on Robben Island.

From the New York Times, June 10, 1990:


The Central Intelligence Agency played an important role in the arrest in 1962 of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who was jailed for nearly 28 years before his release four months ago, a news report says.

The intelligence service, using an agent inside the African National Congress, provided South African security officials with precise information about Mr. Mandela's activities that enabled the police to arrest him, said the account by the Cox News Service.

The report, scheduled for publication on Sunday, quoted an unidentified retired official who said that a senior C.I.A. officer told him shortly after Mr. Mandela's arrest: ''We have turned Mandela over to the South African Security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be.''

Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the agency, declined to comment on the news-service report. ''As a matter of policy, we do not discuss allegations of intelligence activities,'' he said.

Protecting Pretoria's Rule

Reports that American intelligence tipped off the South African officials who arrested Mr. Mandela have circulated for years. Newsweek reported in February that the agency was believed to have been involved.

Mr. Mandela is scheduled to visit the United States beginning June 20 for a five-city tour that will include talks with President Bush and a speech before a joint meeting of Congress.

The news-service report said that at the time of Mr. Mandela's arrest in August 1962, the C.I.A. devoted more resources to penetrating the activities of nationalist groups like the African National Congress than did South Africa's then-fledgling security service.

The account said the American intelligence agency was willing to assist in the apprehension of Mr. Mandela because it was concerned that a successful nationalist movement threatened a friendly South African Govenment. Expansion of such movements outside South Africa's borders, the agency feared, would jeopardize the stability of other African states, the account said.

Arrest at a Roadblock

A retired South African intelligence official, Gerard Ludi, was quoted in the report as saying that at the time of Mr. Mandela's capture, the C.I.A. had put an undercover agent into the inner circle of the African National Congress group in Durban.

That agent provided the intelligence service with detailed accounts of the organization's activities, including information on the whereabouts of Mr. Mandela, then being sought as a fugitive for his anti-apartheid activities.

The morning after a secret dinner party with other congress members in Durban, Mr. Mandela, dressed as a chauffeur, ran into a roadblock. He was immediately recognized and arrested.

The retired official said that because of concern over the propriety of the C.I.A.'s actions in the Mandela case, ''higher authorities'' required that the State Department approve any similar operations in the future. The report said the State Department refused on at least three occasions to allow the agency to provide South African officials with information about other dissidents.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Max Damage's picture

MOAR, shit sorry, wrong article. But BTFD anyway

Occident Mortal's picture

In 1962 the US authorities were doing exaclty the same thing to black people in America.


It's easy to make the case they are still doing it today.

Fukushima Sam's picture

Mandela was actually considered a "terrorist" by the US and was not removed from that list until 2008.


TBT or not TBT's picture

Maybe he and his ANC blew some shit up over time, and wished they'd done more?

max2205's picture

Just wait till MLK hears about this....oh wait....


TBT    Just like Billy Ayers, Weathermen wished they could have killed more and blown up more . All for the marxist cause, well where is Africa today? and Amerika today? Obama's good buddies. I spit on them all.

James_Cole's picture

Not to mention Reagan and Thatcher 100% supported apartheid and saw Mandela as satan.

Oh well, all in the past! Bunch of reganites praising Mandela, oh the comedy.

Anyway, I see braindead cipher is here (above), where is the rest of the stormfront crowd to whine abot deh evil blackman stealin deh jobs and ruinin deh world?

kchrisc's picture

When you bomb , occupy and/or antagonize so many of the world's people, even rocks begin to look like 'terrorists.' But then a terror-state like the US needs 'terrorists' to maintain its existence.

"Ignorance of the Constitution and 'following orders' are no excuse."

nabi's picture

He was considered a terrorist for good reason:  http://americanfreepress.net/?p=11873

NOZZLE's picture

Mandella was a communist and his lovely wife was a viscious serial killer and he did nothing to stop her.  You want to make excuses for that, have at it.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

CIA got him, but did not kill him, seems they had a use for  him then...some of our hero worshiping press might want to think about that point. or not.

SamAdams's picture

There is always one that tends to think rather than follow the crowd.  You win the prize today.

prains's picture

....honestly I have no idea what a "communist" is or means anymore, language has so distorted the idea of what a communist is there's now about 600 variations to the idea, why even bother using the word? As to serial killers I can't speak to what his wife was but I do know George Bush, Dick Rumsfeld and Dick"myOwnBalls"Cheney are all WOAR criminals and serial murderers as well, so in that regard it's all relative.



a nach ronism |??nakr??niz?m|nouna thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, esp. a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned everything was as it would have appeared in centuries past apart from one anachronism, a bright yellow construction crane.• an act of attributing a custom, event, or object to a period to which it does not belong.

Drachma's picture

Quite simple actually. A communist is one of many of the manifestations of a "collectivist", who puts the false construct of "the good of the many" ahead of individual rights and freedoms, generally believing that the ends justify the means, and that concentration of power in the hands of a few central, controlling, intectually superior elite will inevitably bring a societal utopia. The path of a collectivist's atrocities is paved a mile high with good intentions, and they strongly resent it when the rabble can not understand how they are doing the work of God himself. Cheers.

Duck's picture

Mandela fought for freedom.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

You're getting fooled by a shell-game played with the meaning of words.  Everyone likes/wants (or at least pays lip-service to) "freedom".  But to many people "freedom" means things like "freedom from making decisions", "freedom from responsibility" and "freedom to steal other people's stuff".  In Mandela's case, he was for "freedom from free markets (capitalism)" and "freedom from private land ownership".  Real freedom requires strong private property rights and free markets.  Mandela appears to have been for something else (most likely chasing one of those many fantasies full of good intentions but lacking sound comprehension of reality -- the two qualities which are the bricks and mortar making up many roads to hell).

"Mandela: The Authorised Biography", pg 298
Anthony Sampson
ISBN 978-0007437979

Duck's picture

How about freedom of assembly, freedom of movement?

Am I to suppose if you lived under the conditions of apartheid, you would not rebel against your loss of freedoms?


Under apartheid did everyone have the same property rights or did "rights" depend on the color of one's skin?

S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

Are we changing topics now?  Your claim was "Mandela fought for freedom."  I merely pointed out that his idea of "freedom" was not exactly what most here would consider freedom.

There's nothing in my post in support of apartheid, so your comments given as a "response" are specious.

And ending apartheid is not at all the same as achieving freedom.  Ending apartheid just means everyone* has the same rights, which can mean no one has freedom.  (That's basically what happened in the US "civil war" -- it just changed things so instead of blacks being enslaved by whites, everyone was enslaved by the federal government.)

*: The common folk.  Ruling class excluded.

whatsinaname's picture

Was a little surprised by the comments on Mandela on ZH. Always thought he was a decent guy trying to fight for free rights for all (be it white or black). There are so many who are vocal about freedom and free rights after all. It is another matter that his dream did not quite pan out and the people who took over power have done a poor job managing the country, but to blame Mandela for fighting for rights does not seem right. Maybe my views are tainted by having watched the movie Invictus. Maybe somebody could shed  better light. Not condoning what is happening in SA today either but I dont think Mandela had as much to do with it.

Deo vindice's picture

That's because you need to read the rest of the story.

If you do a search on "Mandela necklacing" you'll get another perspective of the man and his organization, the ANC.

Freddie's picture

The white lefties from SA are even worse.  They were so against apartheid but they had their bags packed and left as soon as it was ended.  You run into them once and a while in the USA.  Real scum.  I also met SA people who were civilians,  Their lives were in danger and had to kill for self defense.

prains's picture

evil and immoral exists without skin color, it's motivation that binds them

Deo vindice's picture

+1.  Evil has always been a matter of a person's heart, not the pigmentation of their skin.

trader1's picture

and what if we run a selector on your webporn viewing history?  

lostintheflood's picture

why am i not surprised?

Ignatius's picture

"The CIA is essentially a criminal conspiracy."  --  Douglas Valentine

TBT or not TBT's picture

"Don't panic."
-Douglas Adams

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Isn't it rather curious that CIA is in both words CrIminAl and ConspIrAcy ??

......just sayin

zerozulu's picture

Is $ fits in there some where? $ goes TP, alphabets go down the drain.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Ah, tradition.

In 1947, the US ambassador to Iran publicly decried intimidation and coercion used by foreign governments to secure commercial concessions in Iran, and promised full US support for Iran to freely decide about its own natural resources.

Just six years later, the CIA, at the behest of British Petroleum, orchestrated the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected prime minister.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

TBT or not TBT's picture

On the other hand, the Soviet Union was prevented from getting into the oil patch.

Think socialist rabble rousers nationalizing shit helps the people? Venezuela from Cavez on, Vs Chile thanks to a spot of grizzly greasing. Compare and contrast.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Think socialist rabble rousers nationalizing shit helps the people?

Good. A classic response. When you can't think of anything, fall back on "ism" and "ist" words and apply the tar with a broad brush. As a certain troll familiar to these parts might say, how US citizenish.

Compare and contrast.

Good idea. The deal with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and then as British Petroleum), agreed to (under duress) by a previous non-constitutional government, gave Iran 16 percent of the profits derived from its oil. Mossadegh attempted to negotiate a 50/50 split of the profits between Iran and the British, which the British, against the recommendations of the obviously socialist US government, rejected. This 50/50 split was similar to the 1950 agreement between Saudi Arabia and the American-owned (thus socialist) Arabian American Oil Company.

After the killings, the overthrow, and the installation of the puppet shah, an agreement was reached with a consortium of companies, of which British Petroleum made up 40 percent, whereby the consortium agreed to split the oil profits 50/50 with Iran, but not to open its books to Iranian auditors or to allow Iranians onto its board of directors.

But hey, the US is allowed to do bad things because they're The Good Guys®.

fallout11's picture

Yep, classic (Black) Spy vs (White) Spy. Only the color of the clothing was different.

kchrisc's picture

The CIA's Iran overthrow together with the US orchestrated Aghanis 'coup' created so-called militant Islam.

One could say that the US (DC) is fighting its tail (CIA) for the benefit of all of the Haliburtons, Blackwaters, Boeings and General Dynamics, etc. in the middle. The American people are just the tits they all suck dry.

"Guns don't kill people, mostly people in uniform do."

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

The ideas prevailed over the empire. Mandella was only a common man but he showed the rest of us what can be acheived.

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

pfffftttttt.... you kidding me dude?  He is a glorified western puppet that if not let out of jail by western oligarchs in 1990, we wouldn't even be talking about him today. 

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Just finished this for the first time last night thanks to an informed ZH reader.  Can't believe I missed this one 15 years ago.


BennyBoy's picture
WTF!? Is there anything GOOD that the CIA/NSA ever does? Oh yeah, they protect our liberties by denying liberty to millions, er, billions of other people. Fuck them.
TBT or not TBT's picture

Chile worked out very well.

atomicwasted's picture

A military dictatorship = working out well?  You'll love the next 20 years in the US!

TBT or not TBT's picture

Allende would have taken Chile down Chavez style. Instead, Chile is a model economy and civilisation.

Nikao7's picture

So you are a fan of Pinochet?

trader1's picture

yea, i also can't tell if he's /sarcing or not...

AZLagun's picture

Once a terrorist now a freedom fighter.  Where have I seen this before?

TBT or not TBT's picture

Bill Ayers, possible ghost writer of at least one of obama's precocious autobiographies, and key personality in the launch of his political career.

johny2's picture

And president of USA at the time?