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Nelson Mandela: The True Story

The blueprint for the "rainbow nation" was written in 1976 by Christiaan Barnard, the white South African pioneer of heart transplant.

by
Michel Gurfinkiel

Bio

December 22, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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Nelson Mandela will stay in history on two accounts. He will be remembered for acceding to his country’s presidency after more than thirty years in jail, including 27 years uninterrupted imprisonment in Robben Island, Pollsmoor, and other places. It happens quite often, of course, that rebels, dissidents, or political prisoners turn into heads of state. One of the most captivating episodes of the Bible is the sudden promotion of Joseph, the Hebrew lad, from slavery and the dungeon to the vice-royalty of Egypt.

In the 20th century, such evil figures as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Ahmed Ben Bella, and Ruhollah Khomeini became dictators after a few years in exile or jail. There was also the more palatable ascent of Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya from British jail to a quasi-monarchic position, or the truly admirable cases of Lech Walesa of Poland and Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, who started as dissidents and ended as democratic presidents. However, no leader to be, neither in the Holy Writ nor in recorded history, stayed nearly so long in jail — or confinement — as Mandela.

Mandela will also be remembered for behaving, once in power and in spite of his prior ordeal, with utmost moderation and as a champion of national reconciliation. This had to do, in many ways, with his character and mindset. A Xhosa tribal prince, and a Fort Hare finely educated lawyer, he never subscribed in his early years to utopian or totalitarian revolutionary views — be it black or third-world nationalism or Marxism — but merely demanded the implementation of human and civic rights, as defined by the successive Anglo-Saxon, Western and international bills and declarations. When, as the leader of ANC, the black South African party, he eventually resorted to armed rebellion and terrorism in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he rationalized it as a legitimate option against an illegitimate apartheid regime, and looked for political and logistic support everywhere, including in Haile Selassie’s staunchly pro-Western Ethiopia.

Indeed, he finally made an alliance with Communism: he secretly joined the South African Communist party; he knew that his closest underground advisor, Joe Slovo, a white South African, was a Soviet agent; he organized the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (UwS), along Maoist and Castrist lines; and ANC itself became, once he was jailed and under Slovo’s supervision, a Communist front. But Mandela was not entirely happy with that and, while jailed at Robben Island, markedly disagreed on many issues with other Marxist-minded inmates like Govan Mbeki and Harry Gwala. He was clearly relieved to hear about the dislocation and fall of the Soviet Union and Communism in the late 1980s, precisely at the moment he entered final discussions with the white government for a transition to a multiracial regime. 

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Top Rated Comments   
He was hardly a reluctant communist or to commit violence. Mandela headed the military wing of the ANC, took care of "discipline" within the ranks and against political rivals with a callous brutality. Upon his arrest, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate were confiscated at his headquarters (along with a huge cache of weapons and ammunition). McVeigh only needed one ton to destroy the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

It is true he did not precipitate a bloodbath upon taking power. But this is not to say he dealt fairly with whites or political opponents, he did not. His government was quite corrupt, and under his leadership South Africa became the world capital for rape and murder.

Other than those and a few other minor details, he was just a big old huggable teddy bear.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, and his "reconciliation" was a lie since there was white genocide since at least 1994, when he actually took power. It's not any different than when Obama and the Democrats claimed that we were to fix the ties between blacks and whites by electing the first Black president.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hog. Wash.

Mandela was a murderous terrorist, and completely unrepentant.

That he didn't pursue bloody vengeance after taking power was due to shrewd political calculations rather than personal goodness.



43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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When we lived in Houston, I talked to many whites that had left SA and moved to the States. It was sad hearing their stories about how SA was going downhill after 200 years of growth. The only way the whites could have survived there is to cut out land for whites only and not allow any blacks in. The Israel model. I believe they would have kept a smaller country and been very successful.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
South Africa is pretty chaotic, I think.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Still, the compromise over which Mandela presided quite gracefully has helped South Africa to survive, and to pass as an emergent world power, while so many other countries in Africa, including some of the potentially richest ones, have descended into chaos"

Wishful thinking in the face of reality...Heres a clue for ya....

Just because, say, Philadelphia has YET to fall to the chaos of an, oh I dunno, Detroit...
doesnt mean its not well on the way.

...just give it some 'mo time, dass-all

We got Trenton and Camden at least 3/4 way there now.




42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The barbaric religions and cultures of Africa preclude it from being anything but a hell hole. There are pockets of Judeo/Christian sanity but they are far too sparse.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
And with Muslims attacking on all fronts in The Dark Continent, the Barbarians look rather tame by comparison...what a hell-hole indeed
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All we have to ask ourselves is this:
Why did South Africa transform from the jewel of Africa, to the murder capital of the world, during the "transition"?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please correct the spelling "The verlugte (“enlightened”)" to VERLIGTE forthwith! Both English and Afrikaans speaking South Africans would smirk or laugh when they see "verlugte". In Afrikaans, LIG = light (verligte = enlightened) whereas LUG = air, sky. The non-existent "verlugte" thus would mean something like "aired, oxygenated, draughty" :-) Otherwise an interesting perspective, thank you.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suppose sainthood is next for Mandela.


42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not very likely.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"declined to intervene on behalf of thirteen Iranian Jews who had been jailed on forged charges and were at risk of being sentenced to death, on the grounds that he could not interfere with a sovereign country’s judiciary"

That and his raging antisemitism.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...to pass as an emergent world power, while so many other countries in Africa, including some of the potentially richest ones, have descended into chaos."

Are you kidding? Wouldn't it read more appropriate to say "...to pass...[like] so many other countries in Africa, including some of the richest ones, ...into chaos"?

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
South Africa has become a most violent country with Johannesburg considered a very dangerous place to be whether you are black, white or green. From recent accounts, it seems it has descended into lawlessness and mayhem.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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