Nelson Mandela is the anti-discrimination leader who went on to become South Africa’s first black president. Also a Nobel Peace Prize winner. During the 1960s, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail after being arrested. Ever since people swore that the CIA had a major role in his capture.
These speculations resurfacing with a recent report which quotes the former CIA agent Donald Rickard. Claiming to be the one that made the tip to authorities with the location of the notorious Mandela in South Africa. Which lead to his arrest in 1962.
Although Rickard was not officially part of the CIA. He’s working for the agency as a diplomat while he lived in South Africa. When Rickard discovering that Mandela had been posing as a chauffeur. Then alerting authorities of his whereabouts which lead to the arrest.
Being under the Soviet Union’s influence made Mandela a US target. Due to fearing a larger conflict with Moscow if South Africa went into a civil war. Rickard felt no regret having made the call, saying that the situation had to stop. Which in turn meant that Mandela had to be stopping. Unfortunately, Rickard has died since the interview, and the CIA refuses to comment on the allegations.
In 1990, an anonymous U.S. intelligence officer said that a paid informant within the South African political circle had passed on information to the CIA and authorities. Their move raised concern among U.S. diplomats. Causing new rules under which the State Department would require prior approval for attempts to target South African dissidents.
There was later controversy over whether the tip leading to Mandela’s arrest had been from a junior U.S. diplomat or the CIA. At the time. Rickard had been the diplomat in question. Although he later denied the claim stating that it was untrue and that there was no substance to their assumptions.
Mandela became an international icon after being released from prison in 1990. Not only for his commitment to the anti-apartheid movement but his views on reconciliation after apartheid. However, at the time of his arrest he had led the armed wing of the African National Congress. As well as helping to push the movement into an armed conflict. Mandela blatantly believed violent resistance to be an acceptable tactic when other options had failed. He had undergone military training in Algeria and Ethiopia the year before his arrest.
The United States had viewed the apartheid government as an ally against Communism during the Cold War era, and President Ronald Reagan even stated that it was essential to the free world. The U.S. government refused to trust him long after his release and even kept Mandela on a terrorist watch list as late as 2008.
Mandela became South African president in 1994, but retired from politics in 1999 at age 80 and passed in 2013.
Representatives of the ANC angrily responded to Rickard’s recent allegations, saying that his revelation confirms what they had always known and that they are working against us to this day.
Remarkably, Mandela doubted the CIA’s involvement in his arrest. In his autobiography, he shares the rumor that an American official had connections to the CIA and tipped off the authorities, but says he hadn’t witnessed evidence that supports this idea.
He said in his autobiography, “I cannot lay my capture at their door.” He ends this thought: “In truth, I had been imprudent about maintaining the secrecy of my movements.”