THE QUESTION IS: DID NELSON MANDELA SELL OUT OR NOT?

The heading of this article reminds me of “to be or not to be” passage in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which Hamlet is musing on the comparison between the pain of life which he sees as inevitable and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide. Nelson Mandela has indeed caused us the pain of life to the extent that perhaps some people are contemplating suicide.

The gist of Youngster’s article (“How Mandela sold out Blacks”) in a recent edition of one of South Africa’s dailies, that Nelson Mandela sold us out, is true. Youngster should have written his name and not hide under the veil of anonymity. Mandela did not start negotiating with representatives of the Apartheid government in 1985 as some people seem to think. He was released from Robben Island in 1981 alone and taken to Pollsmore Prison where he was bought new shoes and a suit was cut for him. He was removed from other political prisoners including those he was close to like Walter Sisulu and other Rivonia treason trialists. It was in 1981 that the process of secret talks and negotiations started in smoke-filled rooms where there was horse-trading.

Unmasked: Nelson Mandela

The heading of this article reminds me of “to be or not to be” passage in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which Hamlet is musing on the comparison between the pain of life which he sees as inevitable and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide. Nelson Mandela has indeed caused us the pain of life to the extent that perhaps some people are contemplating suicide.

The gist of Youngster’s article (“How Mandela sold out Blacks”) in a recent edition of one of South Africa’s dailies, that Nelson Mandela sold us out, is true. Youngster should have written his name and not hide under the veil of anonymity. Mandela did not start negotiating with representatives of the Apartheid government in 1985 as some people seem to think. He was released from Robben Island in 1981 alone and taken to Pollsmore Prison where he was bought new shoes and a suit was cut for him. He was removed from other political prisoners including those he was close to like Walter Sisulu and other Rivonia treason trialists. It was in 1981 that the process of secret talks and negotiations started in smoke-filled rooms where there was horse-trading.

Mandela made a lot of concessions during these secret talks which most of us regard as selling out. There was an article in the London Times in the early 1990’s in which PW Botha revealed that he was the person who initiated talks with Nelson Mandela and not FW de Klerk. He complained that De Klerk took credit for having initiated secret talks with Mandela when in fact he was the one who did that and asked why the South Africa’s Apartheid era intelligence service destroyed the tapes of the discussions he held in secret with Mandela. PW Botha challenged the De Klerk regime to make them public and to this day De Klek has not responded to PW Botha’s challenge. I am now asking De Klerk and those who say Mandela did not sell us out, where are those tapes and why were they destroyed? What are contents of those tapes?

In his book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, Mandela mentions the meetings he held with PW Botha in secret which in a way confirms PW Botha’s story.There are stories making the rounds that prior to Mandela being taken out of Robben Island in 1981, he was occasionally being picked at night and brought back in the morning. To avoid exposing these secret liaisons with Apartheid authorities, Mandela was finally moved to Pollsmore prison.

Mandela found the PAC’s Jafta Masemola on Robben Island and left him there. So Masemola (may his soul rest in peace) knew a lot that is why he had to be killed unfortunately.There were reports that the late Govan Mbeki was not happy with what Mandela was doing and as a result there was a fallout between the two ANC leaders. Those who are observant should have noticed that when the late Mbeki was still alive he was never seen with Mandela. The same way the elder Mbeki was critical of Mandela for having left the country in 1961 and came back only to be arrested. Apparently other ANC leaders on Robben Island made up with Mandela and smoked the peace pipe. However, they did not approve of his secret talks with Apartheid authorities.

John Pilger writes in his book Freedom Next Time how ANC leaders in exile such as the late Oliver Tambo and Thabo Mbeki negotiated in secret in London with the white establishment who included Gavin Relly while Mandela did the same inside the country. It is my honest believe that Mandela sold us out. Now we are expected to celebrate his birthday and it is institutions of higher learning that are in the forefront of this gigantic fraud.

On Thursday (19 July 2012) evening on Motsweding FM, I disagreed strongly with academics and a student of the University of the North West who were purveying this humongous fraud of celebrating Mandela Day. They failed to answer my questions why we should celebrate this one person as if he was the only person who fought for our struggle for liberation, moreover a person who sold us out.

I said we had kings like Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhune who fought against white encroachment and other leaders who waged anti-slavery, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist wars long before Mandela was born such as Tousaint Louverture of Haiti, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Marcus Garvey, WEB Du Bois and the founders of the ANC and asked them why we should ignore all these leaders and focus on this one man. I also asked why we should ignore other great South African leaders like Anton Lembede, Robert Sobukwe, Zeph Mothopeng, Jafta Masemola (who spent 9 years in solitary confinement on Robbben Island), Onkgopotse Tiro and Steve Biko and choose only this one man.These universities are being ridiculous and they must be ashamed of themselves. They are supposed to promote critical and independent thinking instead of pursuing partisan scholarship because this is exactly what they are doing.

By Sam Ditshego
(The writer is a senior researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute)

34 thoughts on “THE QUESTION IS: DID NELSON MANDELA SELL OUT OR NOT?

  1. Elethu! these stories need to be told,so that our childrens can a have something to look up to from their fathers,not be shamed as it currently is because of the orchestration of lies and imperialism.Not one but many have fought for this democracy and it is unfair to realise that they are just bones laying there and their families are struggling to make end meet.

  2. I believe there were tentative attempts to isolate Nelson Mandela from other prisoners in the 1970’s. There were talks (also called ‘detente’) involving RSA Prime Minister JB Vorster, Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and Nelson Mandela was, among other things, supposededly to be released to the Transkei then under Kaiser Mathanzima. Sefton Vuthela and I (then in exile in Gaborone) exchanged letters with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on how Winnie might respond to the idea of Mandela’s release to the custody of his cousin Kaiser Mathanzima. I have no idea about what records exist about those efforts. It seems Nelson Mandela allowed himself to be a political Adam and a quisling.

  3. Im not a fan of Mandela because of the same reasons mentioned by the writer.And I would like to know the UK,Americans are so interested in Mandela and only him.

    1. Its land and economy is still owned by them hence JZ now is their favourate.We will continue to live in hand to mouth situation nothing for us and future generation until they take up arms and face the enemy.Aluta!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. This article has indeed brought the reallasation that never believe everything the politicians tells us

  5. Indeed,he’s a sell-out because I still wondering why he’s the “only” one who people honouring today,what about our grandfathers who must be honoured too.I believe that if he was so influencial something might happend about his life like they did to other people we lost today.

  6. I am glad that many South Africans are realising this truth. Mandela needs to be exposed! I’m sure the reason why he’s still alive is because God is giving him time to come cleand and tell the whole world that he’s a hypocrite.

  7. I’ was always asking my self why its only mandela is called the hero after i’ve norice that all over the world they respect mandela.All those quest did’nt make me like mandela coz later i’ found that he is the part of illuminate so how many farmily lost their members becoz of struggling i’ like to find that mandela sold us out although the secrete talks were destroyed mhmmm this is not freedom coz we r dying slowly becoz botha says they must use slow poison to kill blacks im hurt in side but i’ still nid more research to comfort my mentallity

  8. I dont know whether mandela sold us out or not. I think he is basically a good man who was torn between his christian beliefs of forgiveness for our oppressors and his african fighting spirit. He came out of prison and told all Black south africans to forgive – and they did. Black south africans are so meek and gentle with their oppressor but yet they will kill eachother. We should unite as Black people and stop being meek and gentle with our oppressor. We must demand ownership of south africas banking system, mines, game reserves, etc. Shauni.

    1. Africans couldn’t run a bank successfully if they tried. Just look at what Obama has done in the USA and imagine the most uneducated, violent and corrupt people in the world running …a bank!

  9. The entire history of Africa was slavery from the 1500’s onward The slave trade sold out over 10 million blacks to Europe and America when slavery was stopped in most countries the African rulers used their own people for slaves on plantations and then shipped out the production to the world. Alas we want to beleive the good story but africans are still raped for their resources including minerals adn oil and gold and diamonds as well as mass food production for export and uunder deanding circumstances. thewhites saw that without apparent reconciliation that thenpopulation would stay in revolt… mandela was the kingpin.

  10. It’s interesting to see that some readers are still posting comments on my article about whether or not Mandela sold us out, “Did he or did he not sell us out”. Let me share with you readers of this magazine what Mandela himself wrote in her book Long Walk to Freedom. He said before he went to meet with PW Botha in 1981 they took his blood to find out his blood group lest some white lunatics find him with Botha and a shooting occurs and probably gets injured they should be able to get his blood type and do a blood transfusion. The information about being released in 1981 and taken to Pollsmore prison where he was bought shoes and a suit was cut for him I got from his book. Researchers and not dabblers should probe reports that he was an asset or agent of MI6, the British spy agency. There are many spies among these guys. That’s why they struck a secret deal with Apartheid leaders not to reveal who the spies were among the ranks of ANC leaders including those who were in exile. There are many secret deals ANC leaders clinched with Apartheid representatives including the fact that Africans were going to keep only the crown and whites the jewels. That was the deal hence there is a sprinkling of instant African billiomaires and millionaire and a sea of wealthy whites. That is why Africans still live in shacks and RDP houses whites, Indians and coloureds live in decent houses. That is why African youth smoke nyaope and thereafter commit heinous crimes. That is why they perform poorly at school and that is why they are poor. When they finally become parents these African youths are going to bequeath these social ills and vices to their children and it is going to become a vicious ciycle. That is end product of what Mandela and the ANC negotiated in secret for and on behalf of the African people. If there was nothing sinister then they should have held open negotiations wherein they should have involved the PAC from the beginning as well as Black Consciousness organisations the same way the Zimbabweans did prior to their independence in 1980, there were the Geneva talks in 1976 held outside Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe’s ZANU and Joshua Nkomo’ ZAPU were represented without either liberation movement calling the shots and negotiating alone in secret with Ian Smith’s government. The Geneva talks collapsed and the armed struggle continued and intensified. Then followed the Lancaster House talks which concluded in 1979 where all the parties reached an agreement which led to elections the following year in March which ZANU won with a landslide. In this country the ANC behaved as if they and they alone had the right to negotiated with Apartheid leaders and negotiated a bad deal for the African people and they will reap what they have sown.

  11. I have a speech, which was secretly distributed among the white regime’s officials, during apartheid, in which Botha gives goring detail of how they plan to destroy the black race. This is what makes me appreciate your articles even further, because, just as the ones who still have faith in Madiba, I once, ignorantly, fell for his hero act, until I was made aware of such knowledge. Until I read his book, as well. I would appreciate an opportunity to have a discussion with you regarding this topic. And again, THANK YOU. We need more black people to stop fearing and start thinking.

  12. Sam are you implying there is no document of the details of the deal? Secondly I thought all parties were involved with the codessa negotiations so how do you claim that deal was only made with the ANC and NP
    You must appreciate there will be more interest in your articles now that uncle Bob says Mandela sold out.
    Why is our Reserve bank privately owned ? This is not the norm around the world.

    1. People should understand that Mandela negotiated in secret with the NP government from 1981 and Tambo and others negotiated from the mid 1980’s. The others were invited later when the deal had already been clinched. The leadership of the PAC which was then led by Clarance Makwetu joined the negotiations after the death of Zeph Mothopeng. Mothopeng asked them if they wanted to be part of the sellout deal. None expressed a willingness to join Codesa. But after Mothopeng’s death they joined Codesa and did not change anything because everything was cast in stone and were swindled in broad daylight at the polls in April 1994 because the imperialists wanted the ANC to win. Some of those leaders who decided to join Codesa after the death of Mothopeng are no longer in the PAC. They are Makwetu and Patricia De Lille who formed their own contraptions. De Lille has now joined the DA. They caused confusion in the PAC and thereafter left the organisation. They include the likes of Themba Godi and Thami ka Plaatje although they were not part of Codesa. Is that not interesting? Those who do not believe Mandela and the ANC sold us out should read Ronnie Kasrils’s recent article in the UK Guardian. If they won’t believe Kasrils then they will not believe anybody.

  13. This is so true He did sold us,he must just confess so he can die peacefull .White people are still ruling this country and black people are still strugling in shack our children are smoking drugs

  14. People lest we forget…mandela is not jesus christ he is a human being just like all of us…there was no formula on how black people were goin to be liberated hence a peaceful man like mandela felt negotiations were the only way…I do believe that we r still not fully liberated but I’m very happy that my kids were born in a world that allowed the to be themselves with no restrictions…he could have sold us out but what we have now is far better than what we had in the apartheid government who treated us like animals…as of why black men is still poor blame it on the corrupt ANC govermnent….where everyone is busy filling up their bellies which is no suprise in our continent most countries that have black government are corrupt…let’s let mandela die in peace and find ways to better our country..

    1. Nonsense. What do you mean by “almost every country in this world was at one staged colonised”? You can’t have freedom without economic freedom. Whites still control the economy of SA. You need to stop with the idol worship, of course Mandela did some good things but he is not a hero.

  15. Nelson Mandela is a true Hero no doubt about that. Yes all African leaders were imprisoned but not as long as Nelson Mandela. Mandela is an exceptional Hero in the sense that he clearly showed his true colours of fighting for freedom for his people and the nation as a whole by HANDING OVER POWER TO OTHERS.
    What ever happens or happened after he retired its got nothing to do with Mandela.Poverty will always remain in Africa because we are colonising ourselves as Africans by this COMMON STATEMENT “WE WERE COLONISED BY SO AND SO” yet almost every country in this world was at one staged colonised but now very rich because they moved on after the got off colonisation.
    With us Africans we moan every time its because of colonisation, yet we are now free. High time to pin point the real causes of poverty in Africa and move forward with REAL DEMOCRACY.
    God Bless You Nelson Mandela.

  16. saying nelson mandela did not sold out is like sayin Obama is for the people
    “BANKERS OF COURSE” BUT NEVER FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE

  17. We were sold like cattle ladies and gentlemen. And the South african refuses to admit this truth. We are meek and gentle with the evil whites because we are told so. To this day, we blacks are still treated like trash in our own country, oh the shame!

    I have always believed that were sold out, reading articles such as this one really bring pain.

    Oh and by the way, Oliver Tambo was not on speaking terms with Mandela when he passed away. He felt betrayed by him, just as we feel now.

    1. It is so sad that black people are so blind and weak to fall for what i would call the biggest scam in South African history

  18. This is. The truth y complementing one person as if the ws no atha people who fought for this land w stil occupying squater camp w stil getting less salary w stl exploited in different ways the qtion is wht is it tht w a free from coz w don’t hv even the land

  19. when will South African children and all its citizen be free to enjoy the fruits of freedom as the masses are without decent shelter , food ,medical facilities and education. Crime is high and many are jobless yet we have e the resources sold to foreigners with a few BEE elite politicians a and their contacts the beneficiaries What Mandela sold us was a vote that counted nothing With or without Mandela vote would this country stand up to betrayal The truth is out WE WERE SOLD

  20. Yall should go and research history. Mandela did not in any way sell out. A mutual compromise was reached between several parties involved. Would someone stay in prison for 27 freaking years only to come out and betray his cause? Mtcheww

  21. Nelson mandela was indeed a traitor one.thing I know there is no smoke with out fire no domiant leader is clean including current anc president jacob zuma who who is corrupt as hell. To bad nelson is know dead and will always known as a hero bt infact he wasn’t

  22. I was hoping our friend would show us how Mandela sold out besides statements of belief. Facts, not feelings, are our friends. Kindly substantiate your claims. The secrecy of meetings, does it in anyway suggest compromise? Deliberate iconisation of an individual as a representation of the group, or the epitome of his people’s liberation does it in any way suggest that others’ role was insignificant? Please support your claims of sellout with hard facts.

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