Mandela’s Own Words

Posted by Larry Miller on December 8, 2013 under Why | 2 Comments to Read

We have seen much over the past few days about the greatness of South Africa’s former President, Nelson Mandela. We were told about all the inspirational things he said and how he led the effort to eliminate apartheid that oppressed the black majority in his country. It was a job that needed to be done, but under the leadership of Mandela’s African National Congress, South Africa has been reduced from a prosperous western power to a crime ridden third world nation.

Most reports simply say that he was a political prisoner for twenty-seven years. The reality of his imprisonment was that he could have been released at various points if he had simply renounced the use of violence. It could be argued that there are times when that this would be appropriate, however when we see the violence perpetrated by his supporters on their political enemies, we see that much was not done to the oppressive government, but against citizens of their land.

The idea of placing a tire around someone’s neck, filling it with gasoline and igniting is too barbaric and meant simply as an exercise in terrorism that fed the lust for revenge. However, this has all been reported, but generally ignored.

By looking past all the warm and fuzzy eulogies and reading some of the things Nelson Mandela actually said, we can get a better idea of what the man actually believed. Admittedly, it is not a balanced list of his quotes as the feel good statements have already been brought to light. Read it as a balance to the rosy picture presented by the Obamafied American media.


I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.

Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.

If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.

I made a mistake by being ejected from the presidency. Next time, I will choose a Cabinet which will allow me to be life President.

I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism.

By ancestry, I was born to rule.

Nonviolence is a good policy when the conditions permit.

I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists.

I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.

There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people.

Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967, and in particular Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank.

All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil.

From its earliest days, the Cuban Revolution has also been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of the vicious imperialist-orquestrated campaign to destroy the impressive gain made in the Cuban Revolution. … Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro.

If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.

The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.

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  • Steven said,

    I am slightly bemused about the selection you have chosen. As if they are a counter to the idea that Mr Mandela was as good as many, or as great as a smaller number beleive he was.

    Firstly I would wonder if you have read the book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ from which many of these quoates have been taken. They would provide some substancial context.

    Quote 1. This seems to be the dialog we never get to hear from our elected political leaders who act to sanction paralelled forms of violence on greater scales. How is this statement then an inditement of the man?

    Quote 2. This really has to be contextualised. Regardless. It appears that the mear idea of not denouncing communists here should be a smear on the character of the man. Read in context or actually as you have quoted it is clear that Mandela is simply stating a reality of modern civil struggles. Mandela denounced communism, but then you would have to read the book.

    Quote 3: Um, this is just true. When talking of ‘nations’ as in the post- modern era commiting violence against others. USA have been prolific along with a host of others on more localised term. Before the this time, well we all know about the second world war and before then, the British Empire amoung other European powers.

    Quote 4. Seemingly alarming, however this is a quote of a joke at his farewell speech. Again contextualised within the speech gives new meaning.

    Quote 5. Negative? So Mandela was a centre left politician. I know some people do tremble at the word or even confuse it with communism, but then I guess those people don’t beleive in libraries, Public purse funded police or firemen, public lawers or even public toilets.

    Quote 6. Mandela, was, accourding to his peoples culture, born to be the advisor to the king, hence is high level of education compared to most black South Africans of the time. He in the end left his place in university in the face of discrimination.

    Quote 7. This could be the summery of any Western Power’s foreign policy.

    Quote 8. This is surely, simply another way of saying to fight for one’s liberty is not terrroism. Somehow this reminds me of a certain group of people in Boston who defiently threw Tea into the sea at the risk of the Government branding them terrorists no doubt.

    Quote 9. If you are going to do something, do it well. How many ex-military men have been voted into office of President of the US again? I can think of at least 2.

    Qoute 10. Ha, Oh dear. This is the most out of context quote. It was of course Mandela who kept up dialog with his captors (De Clerk) when many around him wanted a bloody revolution, and should your quoute be extended it would be shown to be a justification for maintaining dialog.

    Quote 11. Although you might not agree with the idea. It is an arguement with some weight. Isreal continue to make illegal incusions into foreign land. A closer study of the subject would, whilst not bear the student to agree with Mr Mandela, come to see the valid points of the arguement. Unfortunately the US past involvemnt does not make the sentiment popular.

    Quote 12. Well it was at least one of the reasons.

    Quote 13. Yeah, I can’t say I agree with Mr Mandela here. This is actually an interesting quote. The regime have indeed faced ‘vicious imperialist-orquestrated campaign’ though. We all know the history, don’t you?

    Quote 14. You really have to tell us, to what ‘matters’ he refers. If it’s the making of twinkies, um no. If it’s the funding of forign terrorist or the documented diposing of sovereign governments, then yes.

    Quote 15. Mr Mandela sees to be stating an affinity with the struggle for freedom of non-free people. The thought of non-free people was of importance to him for obvious personal and social reasons. Is it not humane to wan the freedom of all, in at least a contitutional form. See: Artical 9 of the Bill of rights and many other parts of the freedom documents. Some pro inteventionists would agree the US foreign policy seems to agree with Mr Mandela, although sadly not specifically in Palestine.

    Also paragraph two of the introduction has some dubious statements.

  • Larry Miller said,

    I wonder how bemused Steven would be if he were on the receiving end of a necklacing party. In any context, that would be a real bummer. His comments reveal more about his own fellow traveler attitude with Mandela than about the virtue of his criticism. And last, this criticism also shows a certain lack of historical knowledge. However, if he is in the good ole USA, which is questionable from some of spellings, one is still free to hold such opinions.

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