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Author Topic:   Was Nelson Mandela a Terrorist?
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1732 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 1 of 77 (712806)
12-06-2013 10:55 PM


Not sure exactly where to start this topic.

I have a relative who is espousing that Nelson Mandela is a terrorist, communist and basically the devil incarnate. I admit I am not the most adept at this piece of history and would like to see hard core evidence of exactly what he was or was not responsible for. Some call Mandela a terrorist others a freedom fighter.

This relative claims that Nelson Mandela was a culprit in the Church Street Bombings and other terrorist activity in South Africa even while he was in prison. They claim that he stated in his book "Long Walk to Freedom" that he acknowledged to signing off on this terrorist event. However I have never seen a page number or quoted paragraph affirming this. I also pulled up the book on Google book and looking for various keywords such as "sign", "church", "bomb", etc could not find the reference described above. Most of the websites I did find were white supremacist related however.

From a website http://thebackbencher.co.uk it lists the following terrorist activities attributed to Mandela, all while he was in prison:

-Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20 May 1983
-Amanzimtoti Shopping complex KZN, 23 December 1985
-Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court, 17 March 1988
-Durban Pick ‘n Pay shopping complex, 1 September 1986
-Pretoria Sterland movie complex 16 April 1988 – limpet mine killed ANC terrorist M O Maponya instead
-Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 20 May 1987
-Roodepoort Standard Bank 3 June, 1988

I acknowledge that Mandela was no saint, and earlier in his life advocated violent insurrection against the South African Apartheid government. He himself even admits this. However, my question is, did Mandela advocate terrorism against unarmed civilians?

I am just curious if anyone has heard of these accusations and what is the ground truth in this matter. Please keep the discussion to facts based in reality not in baseless accusations. Back up all discussion with verifiable evidence. Appreciate anyone's help with discovering the truth on this.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Omnivorous, posted 12-07-2013 12:24 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded
 Message 3 by AZPaul3, posted 12-07-2013 7:21 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded
 Message 12 by nwr, posted 12-07-2013 12:28 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 240 days)
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 2 of 77 (712808)
12-07-2013 12:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by DevilsAdvocate
12-06-2013 10:55 PM


No.
Nelson Mandela went to prison on charges that he urged black workers to strike (stop working under apartheid rule) and that he left South Africa illegally. At the time he was publicly declaring his intention to dismantle apartheid with nonviolent action.

The prosecution, and the sentencing judge, described these as terrorist acts. They, like the white supremacists you cite, sought to undermine his moral authority, and thus his political effectiveness.

I take it you are asking whether Mandela gave his blessing to bombings that occurred while he was in prison.

What evidence do you expect to find? I see you've already determined that the claim that he admitted to complicity in his own book is a lie. Have you otherwise looked for anything other than accusations?

I find the accusations absurd and contrary both to his professed beliefs and his actions. He resisted the push for armed resistance from other factions of the ANC, and after the collapse of apartheid he championed a policy of forgiveness and reconciliation, even for those who committed the worst abuses against black citizens of South Africa.

Debating whether armed resistance by the ANC could be considered terrorism might be interesting--are there any unarmed civilians in a society that profits by using thugs to exploit, oppress and murder an underclass?

But treating white supremacist web-bile to serious debate on the occasion of his death seems to me only to serve their racist propaganda purposes.

So aside from these observations, I won't.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5329
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 3 of 77 (712813)
12-07-2013 7:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by DevilsAdvocate
12-06-2013 10:55 PM


During his trial Madiba gave his famous "I am prepared to die," speech. In that speech he said

quote:
At the beginning of June 1961, after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force.

This conclusion was not easily arrived at. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe. We did so not because we desired such a course, but solely because the government had left us with no other choice. In the Manifesto of Umkhonto published on 16 December 1961, which is exhibit AD, we said:


'The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices – submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.'

source

Like with Menachem Begin and Irgun before him was Umkhonto we Sizwe a liberation movement or a terrorist organization? This can only be answered by each of us individually.

For that place, at that time, in my opinion, Mandela's reasoning was compelling. As the world has seen too many times, sometimes freedom and liberty can only be fed on blood.

Edited by AZPaul3, : historical reference oops


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-06-2013 10:55 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-07-2013 7:32 AM AZPaul3 has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1732 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 4 of 77 (712814)
12-07-2013 7:25 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Omnivorous
12-07-2013 12:24 AM


Re: No.
I take it you are asking whether Mandela gave his blessing to bombings that occurred while he was in prison.

Yes.

What evidence do you expect to find?

I am looking for the truth in the matter. I would like to find evidence which disproves that he was responsible in the bombings and terrorist activities of innocent people as given in the list in my OS.

I see you've already determined that the claim that he admitted to complicity in his own book is a lie.

That is my initial statement based on looking for keywords. However, not having read the book myself I cannot confirm that 100%. I will probably purchase the book and read it online in the near future to validate this.

Have you otherwise looked for anything other than accusations?

Yes but I haven't found any yet. I have but either find the two extremes on the internet, either glorifying everything he did or blaming him for all the violence that has occurred in South Africa. In other words most of what I find on the internet concerning Nelson Mandela claims his innocence or culpability without backing up these claims with verifiable evidence (his own writings and statements, others writings and statements, reports, etc). That is the truth I am after. However as in science, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

I find the accusations absurd and contrary both to his professed beliefs and his actions. He resisted the push for armed resistance from other factions of the ANC, and after the collapse of apartheid he championed a policy of forgiveness and reconciliation, even for those who committed the worst abuses against black citizens of South Africa.

Do you have legitimate sources that confirm this?

But treating white supremacist web-bile to serious debate on the occasion of his death seems to me only to serve their racist propaganda purposes.

Trust me, my relative is not a white supremacist. I don't think he even knows where the stuff he comes from probably originates from. That is why I am trying to engage him on this. However, I would like some evidence to counter his baseless claims. That is my goal in this.


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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1732 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 5 of 77 (712815)
12-07-2013 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by AZPaul3
12-07-2013 7:21 AM


AZPaul,

Awesome, thank you for the reference. I am reading this now.

I agree that there can be a fine line on what considers freedom fighting and terrorism. However, I think the distinction is that true freedom fighters do not intentionally use violence to kill innocent civilians in their fight for freedom (however, unintentional casualties in this struggle can and do occur); whereas terrorist whole-hardheartedly and intentionally use this technique to further their cause.

Americans would be liars and hypocrites if they said there was no distinction between freedom fighting and terrorism. That statement would in itself undermine the basis for the American government established by the American war for revolution in the 1700s. Innocent lives were certainly lost when the American colonists fought against the repressive regime of Great Britain. In fact the American colonists had much more rights and freedoms than the blacks of South America. I think it is tragic and ironic that these same people who claim to uphold the traditions and philosophy of the American founding fathers at the same time denounce those who advocates and activists in bringing equality and freedom for all people in their country like Nelson Mandela. Just my two cents in the matter. Am I wrong on this?

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5329
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 6 of 77 (712817)
12-07-2013 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by DevilsAdvocate
12-07-2013 7:32 AM


Am I wrong on this?

Nope.


This message is a reply to:
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yenmor
Member (Idle past 2286 days)
Posts: 145
Joined: 07-01-2013


Message 7 of 77 (712819)
12-07-2013 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Omnivorous
12-07-2013 12:24 AM


Re: No.
quote:
and after the collapse of apartheid he championed a policy of forgiveness and reconciliation, even for those who committed the worst abuses against black citizens of South Africa.

I have always disagreed with this. What does it teach our children? That it is ok to oppress people. If you win you are king. If you lose you are king. There are no consequences to doing bad things to whole races of people.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by AZPaul3, posted 12-07-2013 10:25 AM yenmor has responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 32924
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 8 of 77 (712821)
12-07-2013 10:20 AM


Certainly not on the scale of an Andrew Jackson
That's an interesting question with no right answer, but it is certain that Mandala was a saint compared to Andrew Jackson.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5329
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 9 of 77 (712822)
12-07-2013 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by yenmor
12-07-2013 9:16 AM


I do not have a source ready but as I recall negotiating with De Klerk for a peacefull transfer was the preferable option to a lengthy civil war. De Klerk, of course, negotiated clemency and forgiveness to which Mandela, in keeping with his philosophy and desire for a peaceful transfer, agreed.

I can understand, and share, your feelings for justice, but in this case the extraction of justice was sacrificed to the greater goal of a transfer of power without a protracted civil war.

As for the children? I think it is better to teach them that, not just sometimes but often, the universe is not fair and reality requires compromise.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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yenmor
Member (Idle past 2286 days)
Posts: 145
Joined: 07-01-2013


Message 10 of 77 (712831)
12-07-2013 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by AZPaul3
12-07-2013 10:25 AM


I would have gone the civil war route. For me, justice is more important than peace. Those monsters were many times worse than thieves, and yet we don't just let thieves get away with it. We punish people for much less offenses. My next door neighbor got a fine for putting leaves behind his back yard. My partner's ex is serving a 10 year sentence for possession of child porn. But if you commit acts of violence against entire races of people and ruin countless lives, all is forgiven at the end.

I think I'll run for office and put all Mexicans in concentration camps now.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 18768
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 11 of 77 (712832)
12-07-2013 11:59 AM


Terrorism isn't necessarily a bad thing. It depends on whom you're trying to terrorize and what you hope to gain from their terror.

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5624
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 12 of 77 (712837)
12-07-2013 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by DevilsAdvocate
12-06-2013 10:55 PM


I am just curious if anyone has heard of these accusations and what is the ground truth in this matter.

There are people heaping high praise on Mandela but who, 30 years ago, were accusing him of being a terrorist and communist.

A couple of links:

As the saying goes, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. I always saw him as a freedom fighter.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-06-2013 10:55 PM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 47 days)
Posts: 16111
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 13 of 77 (712838)
12-07-2013 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by yenmor
12-07-2013 9:16 AM


Re: No.
I have always disagreed with this. What does it teach our children? That it is ok to oppress people. If you win you are king. If you lose you are king. There are no consequences to doing bad things to whole races of people.

It demonstrates that if you're in power and in the wrong, and you do the right thing, you won't necessarily be put against the wall and shot. It doesn't so much teach that there are no consequences to oppressing people as that there are no consequences to stopping oppressing people.

At the end of WWII, when the Allies were closing in on Germany, the German soldiers fought like devils on the Eastern Front because they knew they could expect no mercy from the Russians. They gladly surrendered on the Western Front because they knew they could expect a nice cup of tea from the British. There's a moral to that.


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 Message 7 by yenmor, posted 12-07-2013 9:16 AM yenmor has responded

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yenmor
Member (Idle past 2286 days)
Posts: 145
Joined: 07-01-2013


Message 14 of 77 (712840)
12-07-2013 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Dr Adequate
12-07-2013 12:31 PM


Re: No.
Ok, I'll put the Mexicans in concentration camps. After their numbers have dwindled down to about 50% of their previous size, I'll do the right thing and release them.

I'm aware of the incentive to get the evil people to stop doing evil things.

That said, the russians didn't rape and pillage Germany enough. They should have leveled it and turn it into an agricultural backwatered place. And rape a few more Germans on the way out.

I know I sound like an extremist. And that's ok. I just refuse to accept that you can be thrown into jail for shoplifting but if you rob the livelihood of millions of people then it's all good.

Edit.

I listened to a speech made by a former apartheid official. He said something like Mandella was a great man. I was screaming into the radio for him to shut the hell up.

And why does this website run like shit at times?

Edited by yenmor, : No reason given.


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5329
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 15 of 77 (712859)
12-07-2013 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by yenmor
12-07-2013 11:52 AM


I would have gone the civil war route. For me, justice is more important than peace.

OK. That is you. What about the thousands that got to live with some freedom and some dignity because they didn't have to die in a civil war? What about the thousands that actually got born and now live in a free society because a would-be parent was not killed in the civil war? I would think these folks have quite a different response.

We punish people for much less offenses.

Local community standards where an individual's freedom is affected are quite different from nation-state standards where thousands of people's very lives hang in jeopardy. Would you really rather see your family, friends, neighbors and yourself made dead just to get even with De Klerk?

Also, there is a major difference between being judicial and being vindictive. I'm thinking maybe you are overstepping that line.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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