As an adolescent, I remember when I was required to write book reports on the “Great Nelson Mandela” for school. However, more than anything else, I remember Mandela speaking to my childhood’s church congregation in 1993. I was only six years of age but have a vivid memory of his vibrant voice and presence. I learned extensively from reading mainstream history books that he struggled to fight against inequality during the apartheid in South Africa. But, I am no kid anymore. History is always more interesting than what we are obliged to read in liberal history books.
So, when the South African government revealed that Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95-years-old, I was less shocked than the rest of the world. And it is not because I am a heartless baster; it is because Mandela lived a long life, till the age of 95, exceeding the average life expectancy age for most South African men by 38-years. I was also not oblivious to news reports over the summer, mentioning that the former South African President was in critical condition and family members remained optimistic. Earlier this week, I came across a Guardian Express article, where the journalist mention that through their own investigation, Mandela has been brain dead since June of 2013. I am curious to know whether the suppressing the death of communist leaders is standard procedure because there was a lot of speculation that Kim Jong-il died before his death was announced to the world.
Yes, I know it may be surprising to some readers that Nelson Mandela was a communist. Mandela was not just Communist, he was also the co-founded the militant wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Umkshonto we Sizwe (translate to Spear of Nation)—known as the MK. The organization was inspired by Fidel Castro’s rebellious takeover of the Cuban government. The Spear Head’s campaigned to sabotage government through bombings, as well as the use of guerrilla warfare to complete their agenda. Alliances were assembled with various other militant groups throughout Africa, e.g. the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). I have never been a huge fan of revolutionary armies, especially in Africa. Mainly because militants like the Revolutionary United Front massacred villagers and destroyed the lives of Sierra Leoneans. The ZIPRA for example, were involved in the downing of two civilian passenger planes with military missiles in 1978 and 1979—back to back years—killing a total of 102 people.
Mandela was arrested on August 5, 1962, after being tipped off by various groups, including the CIA and the South African Communist Party—I will further explain. He was charged with treason and sabotage. Mandela’s strategy was to sabotage the government because he felt it would result in the least amount of harm to leave leverage for reconciliation. He also alluded to the members of the MK if all fails, resorting to guerrilla warfare and terrorism. During his February 1962, travel to the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) meeting, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; he enrolled into a six-month guerrilla warfare course in Ethiopia, but only participated two months of the course. Much of the bombings that resulted in the death of civilians occurred while Mandela was in prison. Throughout the 80s, MK was involved in a host of bombings, which resulted in the death of a multitude of South African civilians and injuring hundreds more. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa), establish at the conclusion of apartheid, investigated that between the years of 1979-1989 the MK was routinely involved torture and execution, which was standard practice. It should be known that the former South African leader never denounce the violence orchestrated by his organization.
It is a little-known fact that Mandela was a communist because Mandela frequently denied any involvement in the Communist Party. Another reason that his communist is suppressed in the history books, because are fearful, illustrate this secret that could vilify his legacy. Just days after his official death, the South African Communist Party admitted that he was a prominent member of the SACP. If that is not enough, well in 1939 Mandela published the manuscript, “How to Be a Good Communist.” In the document, he quotes Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Lenin, and Joseph Stalin. Please, make the judgment call for yourself about his Marxist, Communist philosophies.
Some may say, “what difference does it make, whether he believed in communism during his earlier years because he ended up being a great leader for his people of South Africa and an inspiration to the world.” I am by no means trying to disparage the dead and his legacy, but we, as a society should never delude history like it means nothing. The fact that Mandela believed in communism speaks volume because communism alone has killed hundreds of millions of people. He was a man who was veracious against inequality, but I find it daunting that he supported a political ideology–and actively encourage violence—that is responsible for the killing more people than Hitler.
Nelson Mandela’s political activism was involved in the brutal apartheid in South Africa. His efforts helped to abolish the repulsive form of discrimination. Many historians and economist agree that his rise to power solidified South Africa as one of the world’s leading powers in the world. We can mourn over his death–regardless of what the truth may be–and celebrate his legacy, but Never forget the truth of this man’s life because for damn sure he was not a Saint.