Donald Rickard, a former CIA operative and US vice-consul in Durban, confessed to America’s role in putting former South Africa’s president, Nelson Mandela, behind bars in 1962 and the personal role in played in the whole saga – according to South China Morning Post.
Rickard made this disclosure to British film-maker John Irvin two weeks before his death in March this year.
According to him, he tipped off South African authorities to arrest Mandela because the United States believed he was “a toy of the communists” and “completely under the control of the Soviet Union.” Rickard said Mandela was capable of inciting Indians in Natal into a rebellion against the apartheid government in such a way as to bring in the Russians, something America would prevent by all means.
“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved – grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said. “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 spending 27 years in prison, Mandela was ultimately released from prison in 1990 and he became the first black president of South Africa in 1994 and ruled till 1999. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.
Mandla Mandela, the Madiba’s oldest grandson, told The Telegraph that President Obama must fully disclose events that led to his grandfather’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment, adding that his people always suspected that the West had a hand in Mandela’s ordeal.
Zizi Kodwa, national spokesman of Mandela’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, noted that “we always knew there was always collaboration between some Western countries and the apartheid regime,” adding that South Africa is still aware of the CIA’s covert interference in the country’s politics.
John Irvin’s new film, Mandela’s Gun, details the events leading up to Mandela’s arrest in 1962 and the film has been scheduled for screening at the Cannes film festival this week.