23:00 GMT +325 February 2018
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    Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela smiles during a photo session after his first press conference since his release from jail, 12 February 1990 in Cape Town. (File)

    CIA Assisted in Tracking, Arresting Nelson Mandela, Says Former Agent

    © AFP 2018/ WALTER DHLADHLA
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    According to a former CIA agent, the clandestine spy agency had indeed been the revered tracking civil rights leader and tipped South African authorities about his whereabouts leading to his arrest.

    Nelson Mandela, shown here in 2008, was used as an example in a CIA review of assassinations why it is sometimes better to kill political leaders than imprison them.
    © Flickr/ South Africa The Good News
    Nelson Mandela, shown here in 2008, was used as an example in a CIA review of assassinations why it is sometimes better to kill political leaders than imprison them.
    Nelson Mandela was arrested in Durban, South Africa, in 1962, spending 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activities before his release after which he went on to become the nation’s first black president. 

    A Sunday Times newspaper interview with ex-CIA agent Donald Rickard has revealed that the agency revealed Mandela’s location to authorities. 

    The report seems to confirm long-held beliefs that Mandela was being tracked by the US clandestine services. The CIA has refused to release documents that would detail its involvement in the incident but this latest report may add to pressure for them to be declassified.

    Rickard retired in the 1970s and died earlier this year.He was never formally officially employed by the CIA but had worked as a diplomat in South Africa where assisted the agency. British film director John Irvin, director of Mandela's Gun, conducted the interview in which Rickard revealed the plot.

    The US had been supporting the South African government and considered Mandela to be a “communist terrorist.” Up until the Durban arrest, Mandela had gained him notoriety and he was dubbed “the black Pimpernel.” In Durban, they found him posing as a chauffeur when police caught him at a roadblock and detained him.

    "I found out when he was coming down and how he was coming… that's where I was involved and that's where Mandela was caught," Rickard said.

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    Tags:
    apartheid, civil rights, racial discrimination, human rights, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Irvin, Donald Rickard, Nelson Mandela, Durban, South Africa
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