CIA Spy Claims His Tip-off Led to Man­della Ar­rest in 1962

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Atip from a CIA spy to author­i­ties in apartheid-era South Africa led to Nel­son Man­dela’s 1962 ar­rest, be­gin­ning the leader’s 27 years be­hind bars, an ar­ti­cle in the Sun­day Times re­ported. The news­pa­per cited com­ments re­port­edly made by Don­ald Rickard, a for­mer US vice-con­sul in Dur­ban and CIA op­er­a­tive, to Bri­tish film di­rec­tor John Irvin. Mr Irvin’s new film “Man­dela’s Gun”, about the months be­fore the anti-apartheid icon’s ar­rest, is due to be screened at the Cannes film fes­ti­val this week. Mr Man­dela was even­tu­ally freed from prison in 1990 and went on to be­come South Africa’s pres­i­dent be­tween 1994 and 1999 be­fore dy­ing in 2013 aged 95. An ar­ti­cle by James San­ders, who said he was asked by Mr Irvin to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue, said the di­rec­tor trav­elled to the US ear­lier this year and in­ter­viewed Mr Rickard. Mr Rickard ex­plained how Mr Man­dela was ar­rested as he trav­elled be­tween Dur­ban and Johannesburg but did not ex­plain how he had learned where he would be. “I found out when he was com­ing down and how he was com­ing… that’s where I was in­volved and that’s where Man­dela was caught,” Mr Rickard was quoted as say­ing. He added that Mr Man­dela was “com­pletely un­der the con­trol of the Soviet Union. “He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get in­volved, grudg­ingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Mr Rickard added. “We were tee­ter­ing on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Man­dela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.” Zizi Kodwa, na­tional spokesman of Mr Man­dela’s rul­ing African Na­tional Congress (ANC) party, called the rev­e­la­tion “a se­ri­ous in­dict­ment” but said it was noth­ing new. “We al­ways knew there was al­ways col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween some Western coun­tries and the apartheid regime,” he told AFP. He claimed that though the in­ci­dent hap­pened decades ago, the CIA was still in­ter­fer­ing in South African pol­i­tics. “We have re­cently ob­served that there are ef­forts to un­der­mine the demo­crat­i­cally elected ANC gov­ern­ment,” he al­leged.

“They never stopped op­er­at­ing here. It is still hap­pen­ing now – the CIA is still col­lab­o­rat­ing with those who want regime change.” In­dian Ex­press

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