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10 December 2012


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Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

I suppose Mandela understands his northern audience, and remains purposefully coy on these matters to maintain his "brand".

It's odd, considering Ronnie Kasrils has held South Africa's defense & intelligence ministries for the longest time. Unlike Mandela, he is completely upfront about a similar background:

Okay, well, it's not "odd". One is a politician seeking mass approval...while the other doesn't really care what you think.

Alba Etie

And look at what has now happened in other post colonial African countries . How is Mugabe any different then the Rhodesian rulers for the average citizen in Zimbabwe ? I think it was Kerensky that said the difference between right wing violence & left wing violence is the difference between dog sh--t & cat sh--t ...


Jesus was a communist and a pacifist.

FB Ali

That may be historically interesting, but membership of the Communist Party is generally not considered a sin (except perhaps in the US and one or two other countries).


I do not believe in men being saints. Even Gandhi proved to be racist towards the black population in South Africa. He only cared about elevating the status of the indian population there and he considered the blacks 'kaffirs'.

As for Mandela and the communist party? It is no secret, at least in South Africa, that the SACP and the ANC were joined at the hip. I was unaware Mandela was an active member of the SACP structure, but he, through the ANC, would've been heavily involved with them because as the article rightly states, the ANC needed outside help. The communists were willing to, more so than others and the ideals of communism appealed to the communial nature of the local tribes in Southern Africa.

This is not to excuse Communism(if anything I consider myself a libertarian) or any of the atrocities the ANC or other parties might have committed. I don't know enough of the facts to defend or condemn Mandela's role in them. But as a non-white South African born into the 80s I will say this: The National Party's regime was brutal for the non-white population, more so for the bantu-speaking people. I was lucky to be born into the 80s. My mother, her siblings and their parents were not so lucky. Mandela and the ANC's military wing took arms to retaliate against the violence visited upon the non-white population by the government when no one else did. For that I'm thankful.

Charles I

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.


I'm not sure how much choice he had since he and the ANC were branded terrorists by the US govt. And back in those days you were on one side or the other. In many cases, anyway. If I were in his position, in jail, I would have joined just about any group that opposed my jailers. And done it with a clear mind. From my perspective, I would have said, 'if in times of existential crisis the US saw fit to form an alliance with Stalin's Soviet Union, to oppose the US's enemies.....why can't I?'


Yep. bird of a feather, flock together.


What's wrong with wanting to share wealth? It is a beautiful idea.

Charles I

yes it seems statesmen are often mixed up with the terrorists and freedom fighters and their masters.

The Moar You Know

If I had been in his position - fourth-class citizen with zero rights by law - I'd have joined up with anybody who could have helped rectify that situation, by any means possible, and I would hope that every other person posting here would have the courage to do the same.

We ran the Brits out on a rail for far, far less back in 1776.


The Communist Party of South Africa continues to be a member of the ruling ANC structure, but it certainly isn't a leader in the Marxist revolution. The current finance minister came up through the Communist Party and is a perfectly orthodox finance minister who would fit seamlessly into almost any Western government.


Col. Lang,

No, not in my book. And you can take that almost literally as the 2nd volume of Prof. Andrews` and Col. Mithrokin`s book on the KGB`s activities cover the terrain nicely.
The DT article contains nothing new really, except for the supposed attendance at a Central Committee meeting and the half hearted denial afterwards.

Compared to the Sinn Feiners who are either ministers now or successful in more or less illegal activities or to his african colleagues he is still head and shoulders above the rest.

That is not saying much, but then I was never one of the free Nelson Mandela crowd. Some of those may or may not be disappointed.

Al Spafford

Until enemy #1 is defeated, then Enemy #2 no longer friend!

Al Spafford

"one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter", Gerald Seymour in his book about N. Ireland.

Al Spafford

A rail with tar and feathers. Have you seen the life ending burns from tar over the whole body? A long painful death. I remember the cartoons of such "freedom" from English rule, how the school textbooks depicted it humorously. I'm sure the Tory's who fled to Canada found little humor in such.



Is there such a book? pl

Babak Makkinejad

Gandhi the man most responsible for the Partition and the resulting carnage.

He lived the adage of good intentions leading to Hell.

And there has never been a body of Laws under which men like him could be brought to Justice.



I believe this is the book.



If I may butt in and answer your question to Renaud1830, Colonel...

The book to which he is referring is by Christopher Andrew and Vitali Mitrokhin. It is the second volume of a set detailing secrets of the KGB, secrets smuggled out from their files by Mitrokhin, the chief archivist of the FCB, after he had become disillusioned. The first volume is entitled The Sword and the Shield, while the second volume (to which Renaud was referring) is entitled The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. A search on the "Books" section at amazon.com on these titles should do it.



See "The World was Going Our Way" by Andrew and Mitrokhin (2005, Basic Books), (http://www.amazon.com/World-Was-Going-Our-Way/dp/B000MKYKEK/). All about the KGB's "battle for the Third World".

The authors say the ANC wasn't a "Communist stooge", but was sustained by KGB assistance during the bad years and had many members with Communist commitments.


Col. Lang,

I was referring to - The Mitrokhin archive II: the KGB and the world (2005)- I have the Brit paparback version.

The section on Africa is a good read (Chapter 24 / 25) and by no means confined to the ANC or the SACP or indeed Mr. Mandela. No explicit scoops though. Just serious scholarship to give one a resonable framework. The first Tome of The Mitrokhin archive (Europe and the West), is even better IMO including when dealing with the countries and political events I have better knowledge of.




I read the first Mitrokhin book. I will read the second. pl

Charles I

Yes there is, google them and the Mitrokhin Archives, they've been released in a couple of volumes to date I believe, the first quite a while ago.

Also, I had a U. of T. history prof who was granted access to the archives and prepared a three part radio docu for the CBC. If I can find it I'll send you a copy.

Charles I

Did you ever read Pavel Sudoplatov's book, Special Measures, and if so, any comment?

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