Ex-official: CIA Helped Jail Mandela
By Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, Cox News Service.
June 29, 2013
Clearing House - "Chicago
June 10, 1990 - WASHINGTON — For nearly 28 years
the U.S. government has harbored an increasingly embarrassing
secret: A CIA tip to South African intelligence agents led to
the arrest that put black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela in
prison for most of his adult life.
But now, with Mandela en route to the U.S. to a hero`s welcome,
a former U.S. official has revealed that he has known of the CIA
role since Mandela was seized by agents of the South African
police special branch on Aug. 5, 1962.
The former official, now retired, said that within hours after
Mandela`s arrest Paul Eckel, then a senior CIA operative, walked
into his office and said approximately these words: ``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. They have picked him up. It is one
of our greatest coups.``
With Mandela out of prison, the retired official decided there
is no longer a valid reason for secrecy. He called the American
role in the affair
``one of the most shameful, utterly horrid`` byproducts of the
Cold War struggle between Moscow and Washington for influence in
the Third World.
Asked about the tip to South African authorities, CIA spokesman
Mark Mansfield said: ``Our policy is not to comment on such
Reports that American intelligence tipped off the South African
officials who arrested Mandela have circulated for years.
Newsweek reported in February that the agency was believed to
have been involved.
Mandela, now 71, arrives in the United States June 20 as part of
an international tour to bolster the anti-apartheid movement.
The deputy African National Congress president, widely regarded
as the world`s pre-eminent political prisoner when he finally
was released in February, is due to be honored by a ticker-tape
Broadway parade and to address a joint session of Congress.
But in 1962 the CIA`s covert branch saw the African National
Congress as a threat to the stability of a friendly South
African government. At the time, that government not only had
just signed a military cooperation agreement with the United
States but also served as an important source of uranium.
The CIA knew of Mandela`s whereabouts because it had put an
undercover agent into the inner circle of the African National
Congress group in Durban, according to Gerard Ludi, a retired
South African intelligence official.
Mandela was being sought as a fugitive for his anti-apartheid
activities. The morning after a secret dinner party with other
congress members in Durban, Mandela, dressed as a chauffeur, ran
into a roadblock. He was immediately recognized and arrested.
President Obama to visit Nelson Mandela’s
jail cell: President Barack
Obama will Sunday stare into the stark cell where Nelson Mandela
spent years as prisoner of a racist regime, in a visit paying
homage to his hero after he left Johannesburg without seeing the
What's your response?
Scroll down to add / read comments
Please read our
Comment Policy before posting -
We ask readers to play a proactive role and click
the "Report link [at the base of each comment] when
in your opinion, comments cross the line and become
purely offensive, racist or disrespectful to others.