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Nelson Mandela


  • Originally published 03/31/2014

    MIT Historian Sues U.S. Intelligence Agencies over Mandela Files

    Shapiro said while it is generally accepted—though unproven—that U.S. spy agencies supported the apartheid regime in Africa and, specifically, were involved in the freedom fighter’s arrest, much of that remained unreported by the press, even in the torrent of coverage following Mandela’s death in December.

  • Originally published 12/10/2013

    Nelson Mandela, Communist

    Yes, the fact that Mandela was a member of the South African Communist Party matters, but not in the way you think.

  • Originally published 12/08/2013

    The GOP's Mandela Problem

    Rick Santorum compares apartheid to Obamacare, Rush Limbaugh complains about all of Mandela's media attention, and Dick Cheney is STILL defending his vote against sanctioning the apartheid government.

  • Originally published 12/06/2013

    The Character of Nelson Mandela

    Mandela belongs to the same pantheon of insurgents as George Washington, Michael Collins, and David Ben-Gurion.

  • Originally published 12/06/2013

    The Contradictions of Mandela

    He was avuncular, but disciplined, a disciple of Marx and Lenin but deeply traditionalist. He was above all a human being.

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    As Mandela lies dying, disputes over his legacy are taking hold

    JOHANNESBURG — The nasty family squabble over where three of former President Nelson Mandela’s children, and eventually the leader himself, will be buried drew to a close on Thursday morning in a small village on the Eastern Cape.But not before it had thrown into relief the perhaps inevitable disputes over the revered leader’s legacy — both the financial legacy, which his family is wrestling over, and more broadly, the political legacy of how Mr. Mandela will be remembered and how his story will guide the country he led.Mandla Mandela, the former president’s eldest grandson and heir as tribal leader in the region, held a news conference in his compound in Mvezo saying that he would cease his legal battles to have the bodies kept there. In 2011, he moved the bodies to Mvezo from another small village, Qunu, where the rest of the Mandela family wanted them and where the anti-apartheid leader is said to wish to be buried himself. By late afternoon, the bodies were reburied in Qunu....

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Mandela: Inspiration for an era of activism

    LONDON — In the welter of passion and memory surrounding the decline of Nelson Mandela, a more modest commemoration slipped by a week ago that said much about the role he played as an inspiration in his long years of imprisonment, when the daily grind of struggle against apartheid fell to others who fought in his name.It was a reminder, too, that the battle to end white rule was fought on many levels, ranging from the activism of anti-apartheid exiles here in London to a brutal shadow war in South Africa itself that offered no quarter to those seeking a new order.The events of June 27, 1985, offered a particular insight.

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Where Mandela Kept Hope, Guide Tells Their Shared Saga

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa — As Ahmed Kathrada led President Obama and his family recently through the prison on Robben Island where Mr. Kathrada had spent much of his life, he explained how the rules of apartheid had granted him, because of his Indian ancestry, long pants and socks. One of his fellow inmates, Nelson Mandela, as a black man, received short pants and no socks.Mr. Kathrada, 83, also showed the Obamas the sign listing the different amounts of sugar, coffee, soup and other foods that South Africa’s prison system had apportioned to blacks; mixed-race inmates, who were known as coloreds; Indians; and whites.“In everything there was apartheid,” he said in an interview on Thursday in his small apartment here in the shadow of Table Mountain....

  • Originally published 06/24/2013

    Nelson Mandela in critical condition for second day

    JOHANNESBURG — President Jacob Zuma said on Monday that Nelson Mandela remained in critical condition for a second day in a hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated for a lung infection.“Doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” Mr. Zuma said at a news conference in Johannesburg, but he gave few details about the condition of Mr. Mandela, who was hospitalized on June 8.Mr. Zuma spoke as South Africans and admirers around the world awaited word on the condition of Mr. Mandela, the iconic leader who played a towering role in his country’s transition from white minority rule under the system of apartheid to multiracial democracy in 1994....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Roy Robins: After Mandela

    Roy Robins is a writer based in Cape Town.CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Late on Wednesday night, March 27, former South African president Nelson Mandela was admitted to an undisclosed hospital for a recurring lung infection. This is the third time Mandela has been hospitalized in recent months. He spent a weekend in hospital in early March for what the government described as a "check-up," and most of December in hospital, where he was treated for a lung infection and had his gallstones removed. The last time Mandela was seen in public was almost three years ago, at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup, in Johannesburg. But that doesn't mean that he's not still everywhere.

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital

    Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital with a recurrence of a lung infection, the South African government said on Thursday.A statement said the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader and former president was admitted shortly before midnight. It gave no further details other than to say he was receiving the "best possible expert medical treatment and comfort". Mandela has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner....

  • Originally published 02/23/2013

    Mandela family launches wine collection in Miami

    For decades, Nelson Mandela's name has been synonymous with political reform and the struggle against South African apartheid.Now with the launch of House of Mandela Wines, his daughter and granddaughter hope to add fine wine to the list of associations.It's a sign of just how far both the wine industry and the country have come since 1994, when apartheid was dismantled and Mandela was elected the nation's first black president...