Press Esc to close

Mandela was a Communist, claims historian's book

London, Dec 9, 2012, PTI: 0:16 IST
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon, was a member of the Communist party and held a senior rank in the organisation, a British historian has claimed in a new book.

In his new book “External Mission: The ANC in Exile, 1960-1990”, Professor Stephen Ellis, has unearthed fresh evidence that during his early years as an activist, Mandela did hold senior rank in the South African Communist Party, or SACP.

The former South African president now 94-years-old, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, has always denied being a member of the South African branch of the movement, which mounted an armed campaign of guerrilla resistance along with the African National Congress (ANC). According to Ellis, Mandela joined the SACP to enlist the help of the Communist superpowers for the ANC’s campaign of armed resistance to white rule. As evidence of Mandela’s Communist party membership, Ellis cites minutes from a secret 1982 SACP meeting, discovered in a collection of private papers at the University of Cape Town, in which a veteran former party member, the late John Pule Motshabi, talks about how Mandela was a party member some two decades before.

In the minutes, Motshabi, is quoted as saying: “There was an accusation that we opposed allowing Nelson and Walter (Sisulu, a fellow activist) into the Family (a code word for the party) ... we were not informed because this was arising after the 1950 campaigns (a series of street protests). The recruitment of the two came after.” The minutes from the 1982 SACP meeting, said Ellis, offered more reliable proof. “This is written in a closed party meeting so nobody is trying to impress or mislead the public,” Ellis said.

On Friday, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation said: “We do not believe that there is proof that Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) was a Party member ... The evidence that has been identified is comparatively weak in relation to the evidence against, not least Madiba’s consistent denial of the fact over nearly 50 years”.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Shraddha Kapoor being felicitated by Film maker Subhash Ghai as the youth icon during IFFI...

Shraddha Kapoor being felicitated by Film maker Subhash Ghai as the youth icon during IFFI...

Sachin Tendulkar plays a game with Special Olympics children during a UNICEF event...

Sachin Tendulkar plays a game with Special Olympics children during a UNICEF event...

Priests and devotees perform Sheeveli rituals of 15 caprisoned Elephants...

Priests and devotees perform Sheeveli rituals of 15 caprisoned Elephants...

Ranveer Singh during a promotional event in Mumbai...

Ranveer Singh during a promotional event in Mumbai...

Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe resigns in Harare...

Zimbabweans celebrate after President Robert Mugabe resigns in Harare...

Reception in the honour of Justice Dalveer Bhandari

Reception in the honour of Justice Dalveer Bhandari

Rajinikanth seeks blessings of head priest of the Sri Raghavendra Temple...

Rajinikanth seeks blessings of head priest of the Sri Raghavendra Temple...

Artists perform a folk dance during the inaugural ceremony of 48th edition of the IFFI...

Artists perform a folk dance during the inaugural ceremony of 48th edition of the IFFI...

Brides sit for a mass marriage ceremony organized for 12 Muslim couples at Mazgaon...

Brides sit for a mass marriage ceremony organized for 12 Muslim couples at Mazgaon...

Artists perform dance on the occasion of Haryana State Day...

Artists perform dance on the occasion of Haryana State Day...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.