Mandela wasn’t exactly Jesus Christ

Wasn’t it Nelson Mandela who once said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies…”?

No? Well, you can understand my mistake. Amid a dozen pages of gushing hagiography one of our broadsheets actually did say that Mandela taught the people to forgive their enemies. The credulous type that I am, I assumed he and Jesus Christ had somehow morphed into the same person.

However, the third day has come and Nelson Mandela still hasn’t risen. This must come as a shock to anyone subjected to the surfeit of lachrymose emotion pouring off every newspaper page.

Having lost God, modernity seeks idols, and Mandela was cast in this role while still doing time for terrorism. But all idols are false by definition, and Mandela is no exception.

It stands to reason that political idolatry inevitably focuses on figures of the revolutionary Left. I mean, who’s going to put the likeness of Enoch Powell on his lapel?

Thus the mass murderer Che Guevara still adorns the nicely rounded T-shirts of impressionable Western girls. And everywhere one goes one can still see youngsters sporting Lenin or Stalin pins, along with the ubiquitous hammer and sickle.

Nelson Mandela has arguably outdone them all. But unlike Lenin or Castro, he’s praised not for something he allegedly created (paradise on earth) but for something he allegedly prevented (hell on earth). That means the man isn’t given credit for his actual accomplishments, which upsets the justice seeker in me.

The African National Congress, led by Mandela until his 1963 trial and after his 1990 release, was a Marxist terrorist organisation committed to the violent overthrow of the apartheid government.

As such, it was similar to Angola’s MPLA that in 1975 succeeded in turning the former Portuguese colony into a communist state, complete with an ensuing bloodbath. In that undertaking the MPLA was assisted by the Soviets and their satellites, mainly Cuban and East German.

The ANC received exactly the same assistance: it was after all committed to armed struggle, and the arms had to come from somewhere. And it wasn’t just arms.

East German Stasi helped the ANC set up ‘Quatro’, the detention centre across the border in Angola. There dozens of anti-Marxists were tortured and murdered.

In the same spirit of international cooperation the ANC also received assistance from our own dear IRA. In an arrangement allegedly negotiated by Gerry Adams himself, the IRA sent its bomb-making experts to train aspiring ANC murderers, which greatly improved their efficiency.

However, the ANC didn’t just adopt foreign techniques. Some indigenous touches were added, such as the widespread practice of ‘necklacing’, whereby an old tyre was filled with petrol, put around a dissident’s neck and set alight.

All this was going on at the height of the Cold War, when direct association with the Soviets still carried some stigma in the West. That’s why any evidence of the ANC’s communist nature was routinely hushed up in the West’s predominantly liberal press. Similar discretion was afforded to the strong evidence of Mandela’s membership in the SACU and indeed its Central Committee.

At the same time the excesses of the apartheid government were gleefully portrayed and greatly exaggerated. At a time when millions were being butchered in places like Burundi or Angola, it was that, undeniably nasty but comparatively vegetarian, government that was held up as the epitome of evil (the whites ought to know better, was the underlying racist assumption). South Africa became the proxy battlefield of the Cold War.

The ANC and the SACU worked hand in glove, and most ANC leaders never denied being card-carrying communists. Mandela did, but the evidence since then collected by, among others, the British historian Prof. Stephen Ellis shows his veracity wasn’t of sterling quality.

Also, in the early ‘60s the Special Branch uncovered Mandela’s handwritten essay How to Be a Good Communist, in which the ANC leader promised that “South Africa will be a land of milk and honey under a Communist government.” This too was kept under wraps.

In his biography The Long Walk to Freedom Mandela indirectly admitted communist links: “There will always be those who say that the Communists were using us,” he wrote. “But who is to say that we were not using them?” Either way Mandela clearly supped with the devil, and he never brought a long spoon.

So why did the MPLA succeed in turning Angola into a communist killing field, with millions murdered, and the ANC failed to do so in South Africa, as it had clearly intended?

As with many pivotal historical events, the answer is timing. While the MPLA came to power when the Soviet Union seemed invincible, the ANC did so when the Soviets were going through the turmoil of transferring power from the Party to the KGB (the process otherwise known as ‘the collapse of communism’).

The Soviets otherwise engaged, the ANC wisely decided to eschew a civil war whose outcome would be uncertain and rely instead on negotiation and reconciliation. Mandela, supposedly mellowed by his imprisonment, seemed to be ideally suited to the role of peacemaker. However, in his first speech as a free man, Mandela spouted all the old stuff about class struggle.

But Leninists know that class war can be waged not only by violence but also by what Lenin called ‘legalism’ and what today would be called gradualism. An intelligent man, Mandela grasped the situation. Guns not being the realistic option, he had to become the prophet of peace.

Mandela’s credentials for that role were never questioned and he was universally accepted as the father of his country, the greatest man of our time. What followed was hysterical adulation, which is still ongoing.

Well, the father of his country Mandela undoubtedly was, but the child inherited not so much his intelligence, dignity and charisma as some of his less commendable traits.

The ANC rule has turned a safe, prosperous country into a monumentally corrupt, crime-ridden hellhole. The UN ranks South Africa second in the world for murder and assault, while she comfortably leads the world in rape.

Around 50 people are murdered in South Africa each day, which is more by an order of magnitude than 40 years ago. One in 4,000 women have been raped in the past year alone, while over 25 percent of South African men admit to rape, with half of them having raped more than one person.

Decent citizens, both white and black, cower behind walls and razor wire in their gated communities, while the cities outside are being methodically turned into slums. I suggest you visit for pictorial illustration (reference kindly provided by a reader of mine).

Regardless of his hands-on participation or lack thereof, Mandela is responsible for anything perpetrated on his watch by the organisation he led. Richard Nixon didn’t personally pick that Watergate lock either, but he deserved opprobrium.

So does Mandela – for all his supposedly fine qualities. Instead he’s being primed for sainthood but this, however, says more about our times than about him.

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