PRESS STATEMENT: The Nelson Mandela Foundation has issued an official statement refuting allegations that Nelson Mandela had military interactions with Israeli operatives.
Far from assisting Nelson Mandela, the ANC or the larger South African struggle, Israel's notorious involvement during the 1980s in South Africa was, in fact, to supply military assistance to the Apartheid regime - in violation of the United Nations arms embargo and the ANC's call for boycott, divestment and sanctions to be applied against Apartheid South Africa.
If anything, the Israeli regime is complicit in the oppression that was meted out by the Apartheid regime against us Black South Africans. Israeli collaboration, particularly with Apartheid South Africa's military, enabled Apartheid South Africa to carry out its racist policies and violence. In 1990, Nelson Mandela commented: “If one has to refer to any of the parties as a terrorist state, one might refer to the Israeli government, because they are the people who are slaughtering defenseless and innocent Arabs in the occupied [Palestinian] territories, and we don’t regard that as acceptable.” (see: www.jta.org/1990/10/25/archive/mandela-angers-australian-jews-with-fresh-anti-israel-rhetoric
Israel chose to be on the wrong side of history by collaborating with the Apartheid regime and it now seeks to deceitfully revise that history by claiming to have been a friend to the ANC and South Africa. Our memories as South Africans are not short and in addition Israel has done nothing to correct its past mistakes and image as it continues oppressing and practicing Apartheid policies against the Palestinians, a population that us South Africans fully identify with. We recall the words of Nelson Mandela: "The histories of our two peoples, Palestinian and South African, correspond in such painful and poignant ways" (http://web.archive.org/web/20051215224658/http://www.jsonline.com/news/intl/ap/oct99/ap-palestinians-ma102099.asp
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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NELSON MANDELA FOUNDATION
Nelson Mandela and Alleged Interaction with Israeli Operative
21 December 2013
Media have picked up on a story alleging that in 1962 Nelson Mandela interacted with an Israeli operative in Ethiopia.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation can confirm that it has not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela's private archive (which includes his 1962 diary and notebook) that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year. Both the diary and the notebook were used as evidence against him in the 1963-1964 Rivonia Trial for sabotage.
In 1962 Mr Mandela received military training from Algerian freedom fighters in Morocco and from the Ethiopian Riot Battalion at Kolfe outside Addis Ababa, before returning to South Africa in July 1962. In 2009 the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s senior researcher travelled to Ethiopia and interviewed the surviving men who assisted in Mandela’s training – no evidence emerged of an Israeli connection.