Langley, Virginia (TFC) – The CIA knew of Nelson Mandela’s whereabouts by sending a spy to infiltrate the inner circle of the African National Congress.
At the time of Mandela’s apprehension in 1962 he was being sought as a fugitive for his anti-apartheid activities, which inevitably led to the Black Nationalist leader spending the majority of his adult life in prison. Now there’s reason to believe the CIA played a key role in his detainment.
Ex-South African intelligence official, Gerard Ludi, alleged that in the early 60’s the CIA placed an official cover intelligence officer named Donald Rickard in Durban, South Africa under the title of U.S. Vice-Consul.
Recently, just weeks before his death on March 30, Rickard himself confirmed those reports and suspicions when he admitted to British film director John Irvin that it was indeed he whom had tipped-off the CIA as to Mandela’s whereabouts. The former spy seemingly had no regrets about his role in the arrest though, because according to him, Mandela was “the world’s most dangerous communist outside of the Soviet Union.”
On the morning of August 5th, 1962 following a secret dinner party held the previous night with other members of South African congress, Rickard allegedly knew that Mandela was planning to travel from Durban To Johannesburg. It was then that he alerted authorities so they could set up a roadblock. Presumably suspicious, Mandela was disguised a chauffeur, but being the most wanted man in the country, he was easily recognized and arrested. Rickard stated: “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.” The ex-covert agent never disclosed how he obtained this information, but stated he vehemently believed Mandela was “completely under the control of the Soviet Union, a toy of the communists.”
The currently ruling African National Congress party reacted to this new evidence and admission, suggesting an ongoing pattern with the United States’ entanglement within the country’s politics: “That revelation confirms what we have always known, that they are working against [us], even today,” ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said.
“It’s not thumb sucked, it’s not a conspiracy. It is now confirmed that it did not only start now, there is a pattern in history.”
This shocking confession very well may escalate tensions just enough for the CIA to release documents clearly stating the agency’s role, or elaborating upon further involvement in Mandela’s imprisonment.
This report prepared by Clint Peterson for The Fifth Column.