Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chaos as ANC Disrupts Council

ct Kuthula Mamba_0179 done
CARRIED AWAY: ANC councillor Kuthula Mamba dances with a makeshift AK47 during a rowdy meeting in the Civic Centre yesterday. 

ANC councillors chanted slogans, banged on desks and dumped documents on the floor of the city council chamber.
Their undisciplined actions saw yesterday’s meeting disrupted for hours as they objected to the draft budget.
It contains increases for rates, water and electricity.
Speaker Dirk Smit was unable to control the meeting.
Things became heated as ANC councillors accused the Speaker of ignoring opposition councillors.
At the centre of the chaos was the 2014/2015 draft budget set to go out for public comment.
The ANC refused to vote on the budget after Mayor Patricia de Lille presented it to council.
De Lille said the draft would have an operating budget of about R28 billion and a capital budget of just over R6bn.
The city was proposing a 6 percent increase in rates, 7.6 percent for electricity, 8 percent for water and sanitation and a 5.9 percent hike for solid waste.
De Lille said they were smaller than last year’s hikes.
After hours of what some councillors called “pandemonium”, the draft budget was approved by 132 of the 142 councillors present.
ANC councillors said they were unable to decide on the draft as they had not had an opportunity to go through the documents.
ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe said that according to the Municipal Finance Management Act, the yearly budget had to be accompanied by the necessary documents.
“We have not received any draft resolutions and if the council wants us to apply our minds, then the documents should have been issued to us 72 hours before,” Sotashe said.
Smit explained that it was a draft budget which would go out for public comment once the council had voted on it.
He had taken legal advice which said a decision could be made on the draft budget.
ANC councillors then protested loudly, shouting that correct procedure was being flouted. Smit was unable to bring the meeting to order, leading to an adjournment of nearly two hours.
Chanting and singing from the ANC benches continued and members later threw the draft budget documents on to the floor in the middle of the chamber.
Sotashe said Smit had misled the council as he had not sought the advice of the city’s lawyer.
“We spoke to the lawyer and he said the Speaker did not ask him for legal advice. Mr Speaker we are expressing our disgust.
“This is not a DA council, this is a multi-party council,” Sotashe said.
Smit ruled that the meeting would continue despite the ongoing interruptions.
De Lille appealed to councillors to continue with the business of the day saying “we are bordering on ill-discipline and abusing the rules of council”.
The meeting eventually carried on without further disruptions, but many DA councillors said the ANC’s actions were part of their electioneering.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vote ANC & Get A FREE Prostitute!

(PIC) A prostitute commissioned to campaign for the ANC. Gwede Mantashe behind her.
A prostitute commissioned to campaign for the ANC. Gwede Mantashe behind her.

It’s BYE-BYE food parcels and HELLO free prostitutes. In a desperate attempt to win votes, the ANC has embarked on what can be classified as the world’s most shocking election campaigns yet, by adding sex workers to the equation.
According to an exposé published by a popular Sunday newspaper, this jaw-dropping campaign was officially launched during the January 8 Statement held in Mpumalanga, where an array of prostitutes were whisked from [literally] all corners of Gauteng province to join in umzabalazo.
“I have never seen so many short skirts in one place at the same time… It was like watching an episode of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” said one very excited Mpumalanga man, who added that after this spectacle, he will definitely be voting for the ANC.
Following years of empty promises, fraud, corruption, sexual scandals and the extortion of taxpayers’ money, South Africans have lost all faith in the ruling party, with many confirming that they’ve heard enough and will not be voting ANC into power again.
One gatvol township resident went on to say that the only time they get to interact with ANC leaders within their respective community is once every five years during election campaigns. After winning, they disappear and it’s business as usual; lavish living, nepotism, fraud, corruption etc.
In light of this, the ANC is certainly getting nervous. The proliferation of new political parties mushrooming everywhere is also adding to the pressure, the recent one being Desmond Tutu’s gay political party called ‘DRAAMA’ [Democratic Religious Alliance Against Minority Antagonism].
According to well placed sources at Luthuli House, the tinned-fish and Iwisa maize meal food parcel strategy was no longer working for the ANC, therefore the party had to explore other ‘innovative’ ways to garner votes.
It is alleged that the initial ‘campaign testing stage’ held in Mpumalanga was a resounding success. Well trained ‘ladies of the night’ were given a ‘brief’ to wear the shortest skirts and shorts with no panties underneath and to lift their legs higher than Mount Everest when chanting struggle songs. It is alleged that the “below the belt bulge” was trending amongst comrades at the venue.
Said ANC’s spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu: “According to ANC’s protection of information act, we are not at liberty to discuss our election campaign strategy with the media. Whether we use prostitutes to campaign for us or not is an internal matter and will be treated as such.”
Leading to the elections, it is alleged that a toll free line will be made available for horny South Africans to call in and have raunchy phone sex sessions with the prostitutes. The prostitutes will also make house calls for those looking for a more physical action.
Additionally, insiders claim that male and female prostitutes will be deployed across all voting stations to ensure that all voters are kept ‘entertained’. Due to small penile size issues endemic amongst South African men, the campaign opted to use male prostitutes from Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries to ensure that female and gay voters are left gasping for more.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Lost Prison Manuscript Reveals - Nelson Mandela

New light is shed on the president's politics, smoothed over in 'Long Walk to Freedom'


This is a story about Nelson Mandela, and it begins on Robben Island in 1974. Prisoner number 466/64 is writing up his life story, working all night and sleeping all day.  Finished pages go to trusted comrades who write comments and queries in the margins. The text is then passed to one Laloo Chiba, who transcribes it in ‘microscopic’ letters on to sheets of paper which are later inserted into the binding of notebooks and carried off the island by Mac Maharaj when he is released in 1976.
Outside, the intrepid Mac turns the microscopic text into a typescript and sends it to London, where it becomes the Higgs boson of literary properties, known to exist but not seen since it passed into the hands of the South African Communist Party, or SACP, in 1977. Years pass; the mystery deepens. Mandela goes from being an obscure South African prisoner to possibly the most famous living human, subject of global adulation and a ghostwritten autobiography that sells 15 million. His cult is such that prints of his hands are sold for thousands, and yet the prison manuscript stays missing. Until last week, when Professor Stephen Ellis of the University of Leiden sent out an email saying: ‘You’ll never guess what I’ve just found in the online archive of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.’
ANC president Nelson Mandela is surround
So yes, the lost manuscript has come back to us and, with it, a range of fascinating questions. Why was it not published earlier? Why did it surface now? And above all, what light does it shed on Mandela’s Awkward Secret, first reported by Professor Ellis in 2011?
Everyone thought Mandela was a known entity, but he turns out to have led a double life, at least for a time. By day, he was or pretended to be a moderate democrat, fighting to free his people in the name of values all humans held sacred. But by night he donned the cloak and dagger and became a leader of a fanatical sect known for its attachment to the totalitarian Soviet ideal.
When Ellis first aired this theory, it read like a Cold War thriller, but when Mandela died last month, the African National Congress and the SACP both issued statements confirming that it was true: at the time of his arrest in 1962, Nelson Mandela was a member of the SACP’s innermost central committee.
BIO-MANDELA-WINNIE-JOE SLOVOThis, then, is why Ellis and I were dizzy with excitement when the prison manuscript turned up last week: here was a rich new source of virgin material to be scanned for the smoking gun, the inside and untold story of Mandela’s secret life as a communist plotter. Alas, the smoking gun was not there. But the prison manuscript does offer insights into the manner in which Mandela’s image has been manipulated over the decades.
It is common cause that the ANC decided in the 1960s to use Mandela as the anti-apartheid movement’s official poster boy. He was the obvious choice, a tall, clean-limbed tribal prince, luminously charismatic, married to the telegenic Winnie, and reduced by cruel circumstance to living martyrdom on a prison island. All you had to do was cleanse him of the communist taint and Bob’s your uncle: four decades down the road, you have the president of the USA getting weepy as he describes Mandela’s lifelong struggle for ‘your freedom, your democracy’. There’s no accounting for taste, but one wonders if Barack Obama would have said that if he’d known his hero batted for the opposition during the Cold War.
‘I hate all forms of imperialism, and I consider the US brand to be the most loathsome and contemptible.’
‘To a nationalist fighting oppression, dialectical materialism is like a rifle, bomb or missile. Once I understood the principle of dialectical materialism, I embraced it without hesitation.’
Unquestionably, my sympathies lay with Cuba [during the 1962 missile crisis]. The ability of a small state to defend its independence demonstrates in no uncertain terms the superiority of socialism over capitalism.’
(FILES) African National Congress (ANC)
Whoa! That’s not Mandela, is it? Well, yes. These quotes come from the prison manuscript, which turns out to be the first draft of Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela’s famous 1994 autobiography. Much of the first draft is carried forth into the finished book, but these problematic quotes have vanished, along with several other outbreaks of what can only be described as pro-communist harangue. What happened?
Our search for an answer must begin with Rick Stengel, a New York journalist who is now President Obama’s undersecretary for public diplomacy. In the 1980s, Stengel did a tour of duty in South Africa, where he exhibited sensitivity to the hardships of black people and enthusiasm for their ANC liberators, surely one of the factors that led to his eventual appointment as Mandela’s ghostwriter.
Among the raw materials he was given to work with was the prison manuscript, a sprawling 637-page affair with many uneven passages and no clear ending. Stengel proceeded to turn this sow’s ear into Long Walk to Freedom, a blockbuster that considerably boosted the Mandela legend and formed the basis for a movie of the same title, now doing boffo box office around the planet.
In what follows, there is an element of conjecture. Since Mr Stengel is the ghostwriter of record, it seems logical to infer that he made the changes, even if we have no other basis for saying so. Pending clarification, let’s note that Stengel was a New York liberal who would instantly have realised that stridency was undesirable, especially if it sounded a bit Russian. Clearly those lines about the Cuban missile crisis and the evils of Yankee imperialism had to go. Beyond that, the changes are usually quite subtle — a quote dropped here, a shift in emphasis there. Having read both manuscripts several times, I think it’s fair to say that Stengel appears to have cleaned up Mandela’s act in three critical areas.
TIME's Person of the Year PanelRick Stengal 
The first was his premature conversion to violence. Officially, Mandela was a moderate black nationalist, clinging to hope of peaceful change until it was extinguished by the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. But in the prison memoir we find him plotting war as early as 1953, when he sent a comrade on a secret mission to beg guns and money from Red China, in flagrant violation of the ANC’s non-aligned and non-violent stance.
‘I was bitter and felt ever more strongly that SA whites need another Isandlwana,’ he explains. Driving around the country, Mandela constantly imagines rural landscapes as battlefields and cities as places where one day soon ‘the sweet air will smell of gunfire, elegant buildings will crash down and streets will be splashed with blood’. These vivid quotes did not make it into the bestseller.
The second area is his endorsement of force against opponents. In April 1958, the ANC called a three-day national strike which drew little or no support and had to be called off in humiliating circumstances. In Long Walk, Mandela notes that the strike was completely effective in towns where it was enforced by violence or pickets. ‘I have always resisted such methods,’ he says, but goes on to reason that coercion is acceptable in cases where a dissident minority is blocking a majority. ‘A minority should not be able to frustrate the will of the majority,’ he concludes.
But in the prison manuscript, he says the opposite. ‘This is not a question of principle or wishful thinking,’ he says. ‘If force will advance [the struggle],then it must be used whether or not the majority agrees with us.’ Pardon my italics, but it’s important to understand what you’re looking at here: the rewrite makes Mandela sound reasonable. The original is Stalinism. Who determines the course of struggle? It is the communist vanguard, imbued with higher wisdoms derived from the gospel of dialectical materialism. And if the majority talks back, they must be smashed. As they were in the final bloody phase of the struggle here. And everywhere else in Planet Soviet.
The third area of amendment involved errors of even-handedness. I thought I knew South African history, but one section of the prison manuscript surprised me. (The section beginning on page 304, if you must know. The entire book is available at I’d heard of the Alexandra bus boycott of 1957, in which a determined display of people power forced capitalists to withdraw a fare increase. But I was totally ignorant of ANC-led boycotts against Langeberg, a giant food-canning operation, and United Tobacco; both corporations were forced to deal with African unions and grant wage increases.
Emboldened, the ANC tackled cruel potato farmers, and brought them down too. Soon it was organising consumer boycotts all over the country, and often winning. At the same time, it was behind the ceaseless protests against the pass laws for women while winning stunning victories in the Treason Trial and elsewhere. The cost in ANC lives: zero. ‘To the best of my knowledge,’ writes Mandela, ‘no individuals [meaning political detainees] were isolated, forced to give information, beaten up, tortured, crippled or killed’ prior to December 1961, when the communists started their bombing campaign (see page 302).
Clearly, this could not be allowed to stand. It spoils the plot completely! So Stengel cut it, allowing Long Walk to soar towards to its moral epiphany. Provoked beyond endurance by oppression, Mandela convinces the ANC’s timid old guard that it is time to fight back. With their blessing, he goes on to form MK, ‘military wing of the ANC’, which launches a bombing campaign against non-human targets.
If we are to believe Stephen Ellis and Irina Filatova, a Russian historian who has also published on the subject, all of this is doubtful or fabricated. The decision to go to war was actually taken by the Communist party, meeting in a prosperous white suburb, in a marquee where black Africans were outnumbered around two to one by white and Indian intellectuals. ANC president Albert Luthuli did not endorse the move to violence and MK was not the military wing of the ANC at all — it was the sole creation of the Communist party, and everyone involved in its high command was openly or secretly a communist.
You will find nothing of this in Long Walk, of course. Is that Stengel’s fault? I think not. Mandela’s secret was still a secret in the early 1990s, and Stengel was a hired hand, taking instructions from God knows who. I attempted to elicit a comment, but Mr Stengel failed to get back to me. Another man who might be able to shed light on the mystery is Mac Maharaj, the man who smuggled the original out of prison, now a spokesman and adviser in the office of President Zuma. But he didn’t return my calls either.
We will therefore have to turn to Hollywood to complete this story. I went to see the movie version of Long Walk to Freedom armed with a pen and ready to fight yet another rearguard action for Afrikaner honour, only to find myself disarmed by the director Justin Chadwick’s take on the Mandela story. No one really expects movies to be true, and this one certainly isn’t. It’s a fable about a brave man who sticks up for what he believes in and, against all odds, wins in the end. Music swells, titles roll and I must hide the fact that I am moved. (Yes, I am a sucker.)
Then I borrow an electronic copy of the script and run a search for the word ‘communist’. Two scenes come up. In one, a white policeman jostles Mandela while saying, ‘Ag, everyone knows you’re a bloody communist!’ In another, a white police general appears at the scene of a bombing and says, ‘This is the work of communist terrorists….’ Both cops are clearly intended to be taken as racist buffoons. This is a perfect distillation of the traditional left-liberal position on Mandela. For decades it was gospel. Now, it’s inadvertently funny.
Rian Malan is affiliated to the Foundation for African Investigative Reporters.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Margaret Thatcher Never Officially Called for Release of Mandela

Nelson Mandela's name was not raised once in an official meeting between Margaret Thatcher and South Africa's prime minister in 1984, records showed, re-opening the debate into how much she pushed for his release from prison.

Margaret Thatcher

P. W. Botha was invited to talks with the Thatcher at the British prime minister's Chequers country residence to discuss South Africa's policy towards its black population, as the apartheid regime sought to emerge from its international isolation.
The record of that meeting, released 30 years later under secrecy rules, showed that Thatcher pressed Botha on the issue of apartheid but Mandela's name did not come up during the official talks.
Thatcher chose instead to raise the issue during a shorter private discussion the two leaders had beforehand, where no official note-takers were present.
The newly declassified official records show that the British government confirmed that Mandela's imprisonment was raised at a short "tete-a-tete", but that Thatcher made little progress with Botha.
In a note about the 40-minute private meeting sent to the Foreign Office on June 2, 1984, Thatcher's advisor John Coles wrote: "The prime minister said afterwards that Mr Botha had stated that it was never possible for South Africa to satisfy international opinion.
"She took the opportunity to raise the case of Nelson Mandela.
"Mr Botha said he noted the prime minister's remarks, but that he was not able to interfere with the South African judicial process."
But in the broader, four-hour meeting where official minutes were taken, Thatcher omitted the leaders' disagreement over anti-apartheid hero Mandela -- despite prior guidance from the Foreign Office to make the point.
In a briefing paper written by the Foreign Office for the prime minister's office ahead of the meeting, it was suggested that Thatcher include Mandela's release from prison as a "point to make".
In a statement to the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament, after the meeting, Thatcher said: "On the internal situation in South Africa, I expressed our strongly held views on apartheid.
"I told Mr Botha of my particular concern at the practice of forced removals (of the black population) and raised the question of the continued detention of Mr Nelson Mandela."
In her 1993 memoir, "The Downing Street Years", Thatcher said that in the meeting with Botha, she raised the case of Mandela, "whose freedom we had persistently sought".
He was finally released "after all the years of pressure, not least from me", she wrote.
The revelations come after the historical approach of the Conservatives -- the party of Thatcher and current Prime Minister David Cameron -- to Mandela's African National Congress party came under scrutiny after the peace icon's death last month.
Reminded that Thatcher branded the ANC a "typical terrorist organisation" during a press conference in 1987, a senior Conservative former minister, Norman Tebbit, said: "He was the leader of a political movement which had begun to resort to terrorism."
Cameron has in the past apologised for his party's approach to apartheid-era South Africa.
In 2006, he flew to South Africa to seek forgiveness from Mandela for "the mistakes my party made with the ANC and sanctions in South Africa".
Cameron said at the time that Thatcher had been wrong to brand the ANC "terrorists".

Saturday, December 28, 2013

144 women raped daily in SA

JOHANNESBURG - The Medical Research Council has found South Africa still has one of the highest incidents of rape in the world.
The past year has seen some of the most gruesome rapes which included children who were barely a year old and elderly people above the age of 70.
The most recent crime statistics show 144 women are raped every day in the country and that amounts to about six every hour.
In the most recent case in the North West, a youth allegedly raped his 10-year-old neighbour on Christmas Day.
The 19-year-old appeared in the Itsoseng Magistrates Court on Friday, where he was denied bail.
The little girl had to undergo several medical procedures following her ordeal.

In the Limpopo province, police have arrested more than 120 alleged rapists this month alone.

Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Durban Beachfront 1930 – 2013


People celebrate New Years Day on the beach in DurbanPeople celebrate New Years Day on a beach in Durban
2013 – New Years Day

Utopia in South Africa

Let us pretend that we can achieve "utopia" in South Africa for a minute, that we can see "the light" and solve all our problems. I suppose the first thing required would be to define what that Utopia actually is.

I suggest it would be

1) Everyone has a job which pays the equivalent of R30 000 per month in current money
2) Government takes no more than 15% of that salary in taxes
3) Everyone has the opportunity to own a sized house supplied with reasonably priced electricity, water and general services such as garbage removal, post etc
4) Everyone has access to good schools which their children can attend which ensure a solid platform for later success
5) Everyone can trust that when dealing with law enforcement, everything will be done to bring about justice

I am sure you as readers can fill in other aspects. So I wonder if government has a list like this ? The answer is that they don't. The list they have is based around redistribution of existing wealth, colour demographics and socialist reform.

You might say that this Utopia isn't possible but the sad reality is that it is. A country like Australia has half the number of people and SIX times the GDP of South Africa. Think about what South Africa would look like if we increased our GDP by six fold ?

What is it that Australia has that South Africa doesn't ? We have better mineral resources, better location with respect to being able to trade with the whole of Africa and Europe. We even have better weather, plenty of fertile ground. In fact the ONLY thing Australia has is a large working middle class.

So how does one go about creating a large working middle class ?

1) You educate your people. Follow the Australian model - if you don't have the best teachers - get them into SA on skilled visas to teach. Pay them a premium to be here, but educate the population - there is NO BETTER investment of taxpayers money than this.
2) Follow the same principle with respect to the police force. Put highly skilled, competent people in charge at all levels. If you can't find them locally, get them into the country with the lure of above average incomes.
3) Cut government spending. Stop all the departments which do not move you closer to Utopia. Tourism department ? Get rid of it - private business will do it better and more efficiently. There are LOTS of examples. The job of government is to implement utopia - anything which government has to "outsource" should stop.
4) Do everything you can to create a JOB - this means reducing union power, cutting taxes, eliminating minimum wages etc. Anglo platinum intends on retrenching 14 000 people. The secret is that when everyone is working, the cost of labour goes UP. This means salaries rise the higher the employment level in SA is. CREATE JOBS by eliminating the things that retard job creation (seems stupid, but that is all there is to it). The better we educate our people the HIGHER their salaries become, AND the more jobs we create the more money we have to go around supporting those less fortunate - like (Zimbabwe!)
5) Sad to say it, but we can't afford all the grants we provide at this time. This does not mean eliminate them all, but we need to stop the ones that go to people who could otherwise be working. How to do this ? If you are unemployed I will pay you the "grant" - you need to arrive at work on Monday morning and start building infrastructure - we can build new rail infrastructure at the very least all around SA - that's how they used to do it in the "old days"

So why doesn't government do this ? The simple answer is that South Africa believes that Socialism is the best way to run a country. China which is the "model" everyone follows however has a GDP per capita of $9 100 - even lower than South Africa at $13 300, and yet is viewed as the "model".

I challenge all my socialist friends out there to demonstrate how the Socialist model can ever put us in the position where our GDP per capita is on of the 10 best in the world.

And no, comments like "apartheid must be redressed" or "renaming roads is important to ensure cultural uniformity" won't cut it.

The Greatest Scam - South Africa

Well, you are probably expecting this article to be about Nkandla, or maybe E-tolls, or maybe it is about that sign language interpreter, but in fact there is a bigger trick going on beneath our noses.

So lets start with some basics. Our politicians make promises every election - such as free education, free medical aid etc. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and although we "provide" those services they are really paid for through taxes. Simple enough so far.

We have a R1 trillion annual budget but only generate R750 billion in taxes. So where does the extra cash come from ? Well our government sells  "bonds" - a promise to pay someone back with interest at some future date.

In essence the government borrows money from the future to pay for things now - much like we borrow to buy a house. This would be ok if the money raised by those bonds went into assets such as power stations and roads or we were creating new jobs with it.... But let me not become sidetracked too early.

In 2013 South Africa has raised R250 billion in bonds increasing our total debt to R1.2 trillion. The budget plans to borrow an additional R497 billion over the next three years which will increase our debt to R1.7 trillion. How are we going to pay this back ?

Government actually has no intention of paying this back... They can't - they spend more than they earn ... All we plan to do is pay back the interest. And so what happens ? The bonds and loans become due and guess what.... we issue MORE bonds to pay for the old bonds.
Our net debt in 2007/08 was R483 billion... we have TRIPLED it under the current regime to R1.2 trillion and will increase it again to R1.7 trillion over the next three years... think about that.... Borrow R497 billion to pay back R300 billion in interest, and we still have to pay back the principal of R1.7 trillion ! In other words our borrowing has reached the point where the loans are being paid off by more loans.

So what does it all mean ? It means that we are paying taxes to pay interest. And as the interest rises, we pay more and more of our tax money to paying interest. Or put another way, the proportion of our taxes which goes to paying interest is growing all the time. Future generations will have to pay even MORE tax to cover the interest costs.

What it also means is that large amounts of money - interest leaves the country - and does so forever at MUCH greater levels than say e-tolls achieves. And like that family that pays one credit card off with the other, the debt becomes huge. This is how you land up being a Cyprus

Frankly this interest machine is sheer genius with respect to shifting wealth from the many poor and middle class people of SA to the wealth elite of the world who own the banks who earn the interest. Biggest SCAM ever.

So to all my ANC, DA, EFF, AGANG, the Booi's and Mashilo's and the other political aspirants - what ARE you going to be doing about this ? Your answer SHOULD be what we as a country are talking about and debating .... and SHOULD ultimately be what your vote in 2014 is about.

PS. The government plan is to .... print more money ... and simply devalue everything you earn. To those defenders of the poor, the unions, the politicians and ordinary citizens ... this is why the poor can never earn enough, the reason why petrol is through the roof, and the reason why e-tolls as a new tax form are being implemented.

Monday, December 23, 2013

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Nelson Mandela

1. Mandela’s tribal nickname is “Rolihlahla,” meaning “Troublemaker.”

Other accounts translate Rolihlalhla to mean “to pull a branch from a tree,” which, of course, is something only a troublemaker would do. It was his teacher, Miss Mdingane, who gave him the English name “Nelson,” much to the relief of journalists everywhere when he became famous.

2. Mandela was expelled from university after less than a year.

After finishing boarding school, Mandela headed to Fort Hare Missionary College. Less than 12 months later, he was expelled from college for helping to organize a strike against the white colonial rule of the institution. One might call this foreshadowing.

3. The United Nations decreed his birthday as Mandela Day.

In 2009, the U.N. declared Mandela’s birthday, July 18, as Mandela Day to mark his contribution to world freedom. The holiday calls on individuals to donate 67 minutes to doing something for others, reflecting the 67 years that Mandela had been a part of the anti-apartheid movement.

4.  Mandela is often referred to as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name.

Mandela was a member of the Thembu, a Xhosa clan, and was often referred to by his clan name, Madiba. It is a sign of the incredible diversity of people and languages in South Africa. The country has 11 different official languages.

5. Mandela’s father had four wives, and Nelson is one of 13 children.

Mandela’s father, a local chief and councellor to the Thembu king, died from tuberculosis when his son was 9. Before that, he fathered 13 children by four wives, four boys and nine  girls. After his father’s death, Mandela was put under the guardianship of Jongintaba, the Thembu regent.

6. Mandela has received more than 250 awards for his accomplishments.

Among these awards is the shared 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk, the last president of the apartheid government of South Africa (he too is widely credited as an instrumental force in ending apartheid). Additionally, Mandela had received more than 50 honorary degrees from international universities worldwide, became the first honorary Canadian citizen in 2001, and received the last Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union.

7. Stevie Wonder dedicated his 1985 Oscar for “I Just Called to Say I Love You” to Mandela.

After Stevie accepted his award in honor of Nelson Mandela, the government-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation banned Stevie’s music from the airways. It wasn’t until Mandela was elected in 1994 that Stevie was finally allowed back in South Africa.

8. Mandela outlived his two oldest sons.

Mandela had six children, but tragically lost his two oldest sons. Thembi died in a car crash at age 25. Mandela was in prison at the time of the death and was unable to attend the funeral. Another son died of AIDS in 2005 at age 54. While Mandela’s administration was criticized for not doing enough to fight the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, he established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999 following his retirement to help fight the spread of AIDS.

9. Mandela ran away from home at age of 19.

When his guardian tried to arrange a marriage, Mandela ran away from home in 1941 and headed to Johannesburg. He began to work as a night watchman at Crown Mines, but was fired after it was discovered that he was the Thembu regent’s runaway.

10. Mandela spent his first night after being freed from prison in Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s home.

Tutu had his helpers prepare his own favorite meal of chicken curry, rice and green salad, followed by rum raisin ice cream and custard.

One thing we need to know about Nelson Mandela is that he had the key in his pocket to get out of jail any time during his sentence. All he needed to do was to renounce terrorism as an instrument of political action. He refused.

Mandela and the Mossad

How Israel courted Black Africa

The unknown story of how Israel secretly trained anti-apartheid activists in 'judo, sabotage and weaponry,' including Nelson Mandela himself.

In all the exhaustive coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death and his equivocal attitude towards the Jewish State, one episode that sheds new light on this relationship has been waiting in Israel's National Archive to be told.
We need to go back to the early 1960s. Israel was keen to court the recently decolonized African states and so went out of its way to show solidarity with the latter by consistently voting in UN resolutions condemning the apartheid state and the regime behind it.
This was not without consequence for the South African Jewish community, who found themselves the recipients of the wrath of Prime Minister Verwoerd and his Foreign Minister Eric Louw, yet it did endear Israel to the anti-apartheid movements. The ANC itself, then led by Oliver Tambo, penned a letter from London to Israel’s President Yitzhak Ben Zvi thanking him for Israel’s actions at the United Nations.
Roughly three months before Tambo dispatched this letter, on 11 October, 1962, a letter was sent from what is likely to be a Mossad operative, Y. Ben Ari at Israel’s embassy in Ethiopia to the Israeli Foreign Office Africa desk containing the following information:
As you may recall, three months ago we discussed the case of a trainee who arrived at the [Israeli] embassy in] Ethiopia by the name of David Mobsari who came from Rhodesia. The aforementioned received training from the Ethiopian [Israeli embassy staff, almost certainly Mossad agents] in judo, sabotage and weaponry.
He greeted our men with “Shalom”, was familiar with the problems of Jewry and of Israel and gave the impression of being an intellectual. The staff tried to make him into a Zionist.
It now emerges from photographs that have been published in the press about the arrest in South Africa of the “Black Pimpernel” that the trainee from Rhodesia used an alias, and the two men are one and the same.
Before coming to Ethiopia he was in Accra (where he met Nkrumah and his advisors), Lagos and Tanganyika. In Ethiopia he was trained in various kinds of light weaponry (including Israeli). In conversations with him he expressed socialist worldviews, and at times created the impression that he leaned towards communism.
He showed an interest in the methods of the Haganah and other Israeli underground movements.
In response, 13 days later, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that the 'Black Pimpernel' was in fact Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who the year before had arranged a nationwide strike and thereafter went into hiding. 'Black Pimpernel' was the code name for Nelson Mandela used by the South African authorities who were hunting him. Curiously they also mention that he was considered by ANC supporters and many others as the most important person in his movement, despite the fact that Albert Luthuli was still the elected president-general of the ANC.
So, Nelson Mandela, under an alias, learnt weapons and sabotage techniques from embassy staff who were likely Mossad agents, whilst being gently prompted to become a supporter of the Jewish state.
This episode is remarkable for a number of reasons. First of all, Mandela was in no way a lone participant in a covert Israeli training program: Israel had established ties with various movements considered subversive by the South African government. A number of Israeli embassies stationed in Africa provided training, advice and transport vehicles to members of the Pan Africanist Congress, including Potlkako Leballo, the head of its militant Poqo wing. Since the PAC was considered anti-Communist and not aligned with the Soviet Union, they were more attractive for a prospect for Israel to deal with than the ANC. Yet what makes this tentative contact with the pre-incarcerated Mandela so fascinating is his willingness to engage with these Israelis in the first place.
The golden era of cooperation between Israel and African liberation movements continued through the 1960s. Golda Meir, as Foreign Minister and ardent admirer of black Africa, called for leniency in the Rivonia trial and for the commutation of any death sentence.
The Israeli National Archives' public relations office, and the Israeli press in its wake, have been careful to point out Golda Meir's actions and the public face of Israel's support for anti-apartheid activists. While this is an admirable instance of humanitarian activism, however, it hardly tells the whole story. Israel's history with South Africa is marked not only by cultivating relationships with those opposed to apartheid, but also by exacerbating tensions with these very same groups and individuals after the Israel: liberation movements' honeymoon came to an end.
A historian should not hypothesize as to what would have happened had Mandela not been caught and tried by the South African authorities. Nor what would have been the consequences had Israel, following its abandonment by Black Africa in the 1970s, not fostered such warm ties with the Apartheid regime. Yet this episode does go some way in showing that the tensions that now exist were not inescapable.
Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 placed Israel in a quandary. After almost two decades of actively supporting the apartheid regime it had to come to terms with the fact that South Africa was reversing course and was undergoing a transitional phase which would inevitably lead to the end of white rule in the Republic.
Yet Israel's ambassador to South Africa at the time, Zvi Gov-Ari, appeared to be ill-equipped to adjust himself to the new situation. Thus instead of trying to cultivate ties with the recently unbanned ANC, Israel’s representative in Pretoria made the double faux pas of criticizing Mandela, the movement’s de facto leader, while at the same time expressing a preference for Mangosuthu Buthelezi, widely perceived as a black puppet for the Nationalist Government. It is perhaps no wonder that Israel Maisels, a major Jewish and Zionist leader and one of the lead defense attorneys in the Rivonia trial, did not think highly of the ambassador, referring to him as that “bloody stupid fellow” (quoted in Cutting through the Mountain: Interviews with South African Jewish Activists [1997], edited by Immanuel Sutner).
Back in Israel, the venerable English-language Jerusalem Post, which at that time was doing its best to show how loyal it was to the Likud government, was probably reflecting the government's opinion when it predicted on June 25, 1991 that “if ANC leader Nelson Mandela assumes power in South Africa it will certainly not be a democracy…If he or his like rule South Africa, the country will be an unmitigated totalitarian disaster and an economic basket case." Further underlining its dire predictions, the newspaper declared:
“If full, non-segregated political equality is achieved in South Africa, it will not be the violent ANC, whose membership is 300,000, that will rule. The Zulus and their followers, numbering six million; the three million coloreds (people of mixed blood) who have been alienated by the ANC's Communist ideas; the million Indians, and the five million whites will probably form the ruling coalition one day. Only then is there a chance that South Africa will be both free and prosperous”.
No one knows whether Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and his cabinet honestly thought that Mandela had no political future in South Africa, but its persistent backing of the old regime only came to an end with the ascension to power of Yitzhak Rabin and his Labor Party. With the appointment of Dr. Alon Liel, a seasoned diplomat and close ally of Yossi Beilin, one of Israel’s most vociferous critics of the white regime, Israel managed to salvage some of the damage by cultivating ties with the ANC.
Indeed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process of 1993 provided Israel with an even greater opportunity to reconcile itself with an ANC now in government which was both supportive and thankful for the prospects of a peaceful resolution between the Jewish State and its Palestinian counterpart. Sadly, as the Oslo process fell apart, relations between Israel and the Republic continued to be strained, as they do to this day.
With Mandela’s death, Israel once again had the opportunity of mending at least some of the damage it had caused in the past, by sending a top-level delegation which would include at least the head of government or the head of state. It failed, opting instead to send the Knesset's speaker. Unfortunately Israel has shown, more from folly than malice, that it serially misunderstands the new South Africa, and the repercussions will be felt not only in the international diplomatic arena but also by the Jewish community of South Africa itself.