Saturday, January 09, 2010

Mandela: Saint or Sinner?


Related Articles:
Sycophantic Horseshit: “Mandela Still An Inspiration”
Historical Skeletons

They mention Him In The Same Breath As Ghandi?

A recent posting on Invictus reflects a widely held myth, that Mandela is almost saint-like; in other words there is a hagiographic representation of the man. As one commenter suggested, this deserves a rebuttal.

This posting, as much as I would like it to be a definitive rebuttal, it isn't. But it is a start, and it provides source material for you to do some research for yourself, if you are so inclined.

I am not about to retrace Mandela's entire life. What I will show is that the image of Mandela is largely a Communist Party construct, and that he has been extraordinarily lucky (perhaps a black swan) in that he has been able to largely emulate the image that was created; he doesn't really have a track record, other than a mythological one. It is for this reason that the only movie they could make was Invictus. But does his relatively clean image make him a saint? No. He actively approved of the conduct of the ANC, which includes gross human rights violations, he has knowingly obstructed justice and he is complicit in the crimes committed by Thabo Mbeki, Robert Mugabe and others.

We've all seen the comments, "He forgave the whole of white South Africa", "Mandela won, Botha lost", "It is because of Mandela that the new South Africa has so much to celebrate", "His political theories should be required reading for all", "Because of him, South Africa is so far ahead of other African nations", "Mandela epitomises that dignity and determination lead to a better day", "He symbolises peace and reconciliation". The list is endless.

Nelson Mandela was convicted of treason in 1963/1964 and remained imprisoned until 1990. So, effectively he was removed from the management structure. Although he was probably kept abreast of strategic decisions (albeit with difficulty), and approved of certain deeds (the Church Street bombings), it is doubtful that he had a thorough knowledge of the daily minutiae. The ANC knew this, and given the international profile that Mandela had garnered, after two treason trials, they (together with the Communist Party) created the cult of Mandela.

It is my opinion that Mandela never truly had the power within ANC structures that we are lead to believe. It is probable that he was the ANC poster boy; the image of "peace and reconciliation" to the world. Perhaps he knew this, yet tried to play the part of ANC monarch, which may explain why he displayed a surprising political naivety, in his earlier speeches, upon release from prison. What is certain, is that Mandela never took any decisive steps, on any difficult issues. He didn't want to upset any comrades. Fortunately his advanced age allowed him to step down early and enjoy the rewards of an elderly statesman, despite him not really having a tested track record. Effectively he had served his purpose, and was pushed aside. Personally, I have always been indifferent regarding Mandela, believing that there are more sinister players to focus on.

The fact that Mandela played the 1995 Rugby World Cup to perfection, does not negate the fact that forces greater than he, had shaped the ANC and would dictate the true political nature of the new government. Mandela's game was a distraction. He may well have been sincere about reconciliation; but he never achieved any of the accolades bestowed upon him. If anything, the Communist Party/ANC were exceedingly successful at hoodwinking the public into buying into the whole Mandela cult, which persists today. But that doesn't mean because he may be a nice guy, who fought for a just cause, that he is deserving of the status he enjoys; much like Obama and his Peace prize. Mandela has been happy to have his name associated with the ANC, and for this reason it is important to examine the nature of the ANC, as well as some of the atrocities committed in their name, which they have actively sought to suppress. I am choosing to highlight atrocities committed against their own people, in an effort to show you that it never was about their people, democracy, human rights or freedom from tyranny. The other atrocities are legion, and well documented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

A little known fact is that the ANC had "recruitment camps" in some of the neighbouring countries; they could be better described as death camps. One of these camps was called Camp Quadro. In 1990 it was revealed that the ANC had engaged in massive human rights violations at this camp, which forced Mandela to make an admission; "Unfortunately, it is true that some of these people that complained were in fact tortured."

Well, that was about as good as it got. The truth is, all of "those" people that complained, were "their" people. All of whom were tortured, and a lot more summarily executed. Importantly, it must be noted that Oliver Tambo stated that "In 1984 enemy agents managed to start a mutiny in our camp". This has remained as a common myth, and is frequently used to justify their ruthless behaviour. In fact, a mutineer Ketelo, stated that "The mutiny had to be understood as the workings of enemy provocateurs". The reality is far more disturbing.

The mutiny arose as a result of combatants, loyal to the ANC, becoming disgruntled at not being able to fight within South Africa, and the harsh conditions within the camp. The ANC had become paranoid, and perpetually trolled its ranks, seeking out illusory spies; whilst at the same time it would not tolerate any dissenting voices.

The mutineers insisted on meeting Oliver Tambo, to discuss their grievances. Tambo refused. The mutineers were ultimately rounded up, some were imprisoned without trial for up to 5 years, in appalling conditions (interesting given that the National Party was vilified for a similar practice of detentions without trial for up to 3 years). A very many were dehumanised, tortured and summarily executed; some for trivialities such as smoking marijuana.

The crux, of course, is that ANC supporters will say that the mistreatment and/or execution of a few hundred, does not equate to the humiliation and denial of opportunities imposed upon millions of black South Africans. Indeed, but it does reveal a mindset; one which South Africa has inherited, and one which is claiming victims in the tens of thousands.

The ANC conducted a secret enquiry into the mutiny, named the Stuart Commission report, where it was shown in detail, what the causes of the mutiny were. It was not enemy activity. It was gross mismanagement, paranoia and authoritarianism. The findings should have been discussed at the ANC conference of 1985, as was expected, but it was never tabled. When confronted about this, Chris Hani exploded that the NEC would not be dictated to, and that the Conference was subservient to the NEC. So, effectively democracy was crushed. No surprise there. The ANC leaders imprisoned, tortured and executed mutineers, knowing they were innocent of the smear of being enemy agents.

Many of the mutineers had believed in democracy, and had been products of the 1976 education uprising; they were not hardline Marxists like the ANC leadership. Well the ANC leadership quickly changed that view. The atrocities were largely meted out as a punishment for speaking out. This is the true nature of what South Africa inherited.

I am quite sure Mandela knew about these atrocities, but kept quiet because it was for the "greater good". Regardless, in 1990 Mandela was confronted by reality. He received an open letter from surviving mutineers. In response he convened a commission of enquiry, which produced the Skweyiya Commission report, the weakest of 3 reports. But its mandate was restricted. Mandela instructed investigations to probe complaints from living prisoners only. Therefore all disappearances and murders would receive no attention. This effectively exonerated the perpetrators. He did this deliberately. To date none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. But some of the surviving mutineers have subsequently been assassinated.

Mandela accepted the findings, reluctantly, by stating "The ANC leadership acknowledged responsibility for not adequately monitoring and eradicating such abuses". A lie. The top leadership, all the way to Tambo, condoned and participated in the abuses, including Tambo, Modise, Slovo, Hani, Pahad, Zuma and others.

So we start to get the picture of our "saint". Let's not forget how quickly he distanced himself from Winnie, who had been embroiled in issues of her own, surrounding necklacings, torture and murder, which she must have shared with Mandela on her occasional visits.

It is my contention that Mandela is not a fool. He knew what was happening; his intentions may have been pure, but the scent of victory was so sweet that he was never going to "spoil the party". The only real victim here is democracy. If you think not, just look at how the ANC has responded to losing the Western Cape. Their game is about absolute power, a Stalinist type dictatorship, which is effectively what South Africa is getting. It isn't about the poor, and the redressing of past imbalances. It probably never was. So, to answer the question: Is Mandela a saint or a sinner? In my book he is definitely a hypocritical sinner.

More importantly, though, what is in store for the future of South Africa? Well, a democracy is out of the question. It has the appearance of one, but it isn't. Just ask yourself, what do you think Jacob Zuma is doing? His ideology has never been democratic, he is an African strong man (in other words he believes in strong and centralised government), he is unilateralist, and he does not tolerate dissent. Consider his past role within the ANC and his thug associates, vis-a-vis the Shaik brothers and Malema, who will undoubtedly kill for him. If you are in any doubt as to what the ANC stood for, familiarise yourself by reading Talking With The ANC.

For a comprehensive description of the atrocities, read the Amnesty International report, as well as the other linked documents. Also, look out for the book Inside Quatro, by Paul Trewhela, who is single-handedly responsible for documenting most of the evidence, and seeking justice for the mutineers. He has done a sterling job for about 30 years.

2 Opinion(s):

Exzanian said...

Brilliant article. And so true! Who could honestly believe that Mandela is anything more than a mere mortal? A man with feet of clay.

Max said...

Excellent, very well written and absolutely right. I think some quotes from "Long Walk To Freedom" the promises and ideology that made many whites trust him should also be exposed for the cons that they where