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CIA Agent Admits Role In Nelson Mandela's Imprisonment

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Less than a month before his death, a former CIA agent revealed the role he played in the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.

Donald Rickard, who worked as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, disclosed the role he played in convicting the "Black Pimpernel" in a film entitled "Mandela's Gun," which will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

According to the Guardian, the former CIA agent said his team believed Mandela was “the world’s most dangerous communist outside of the Soviet Union.” During that period, the U.S. vice consul in Durban was told by informants of the African Nationalist Congress that Mandela was visiting the city. Rickard told South African police when Mandela was scheduled to return to Johannesburg, as he believed Mandela was “completely under the control of the Soviet Union” and was planning to provoke the Indian residents of Natal into a mass rebellion against the apartheid government.

“Natal was a cauldron at the time and Mandela would have welcomed a war,” Rickard said. “If the Soviets had come in force, the United States would have had to get involved, and things could have gone to hell. 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.”

After retiring in 1978, the former diplomat with the U.S. State Department lived in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, with his wife, according to The Pagosa Springs SUN. He died two weeks after his revealing interview. 

A spokesman for the African Nationalist Congress said that although the disclosure was “a serious indictment,” it was to be expected.

"We always knew there was always collaboration between some Western countries and the apartheid regime," said spokesman Zizi Kodwa.

Mandla Mandela, the oldest grandson of the South African revolutionary, has pressed for U.S. President Barack Obama to apologize and make a full disclosure of the events that led to the 1962 arrest of his grandfather, says Telegraph.

"[While] we were always aware of the West’s role in overt and covert support for the Apartheid state [this] disclosure has put an end to decades of denial revealing the fact that the USA put its imperial interests above the struggle for liberation of millions of people," Mandela stated.

Sources: Telegraph, The Pagosa Springs SUN / Photo credit: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons

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