C.I.A. TIE REPORTED IN MANDELA ARREST – NYTimes.com – By DAVID JOHNSTON, Special to The New York Times
Published: June 10, 1990
WASHINGTON, June 9— The Central Intelligence Agency played an important role in the arrest in 1962 of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who was jailed for nearly 28 years before his release four months ago, a news report says.
The intelligence service, using an agent inside the African National Congress, provided South African security officials with precise information about Mr. Mandela’s activities that enabled the police to arrest him, said the account by the Cox News Service.
The report, scheduled for publication on Sunday, quoted an unidentified retired official who said that a senior C.I.A. officer told him shortly after Mr. Mandela’s arrest: ”We have turned Mandela over to the South African Security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be.”
Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the agency, declined to comment on the news-service report. ”As a matter of policy, we do not discuss allegations of intelligence activities,” he said.
Ex-CIA spy admits tip led to Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment | US news | The Guardian – A tip from a CIA spy to authorities in apartheid-era South Africa led to Nelson Mandela’s arrest, beginning the leader’s 27 years behind bars, a report said on Sunday.
Donald Rickard, a former US vice-consul in Durban and CIA operative, told British film director John Irvin that he had been involved in Mandela’s arrest in 1962, which was seen as necessary because the Americans believed he was “completely under the control of the Soviet Union”, according to a report in the Sunday Times newspaper.
“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said.
“We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”
“One of Our Greatest Coups”: The CIA & the Capture of Nelson Mandela | Democracy Now! – As South Africa prepares to hold a state funeral for Nelson Mandela, we look at how the CIA helped the South African government track down and capture Mandela in 1962. In 1990, the Cox News Service quoted a former U.S. official saying that within hours after Mandela’s arrest a senior CIA operative named Paul Eckel admitted the agency’s involvement. Eckel was reported as having told the official, “We have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be. They have picked him up. It is one of our greatest coups.” Several news outlets have reported the actual source of the tip that led to the arrest of Mandela was a CIA official named Donald Rickard. On Thursday, Democracy Now! attempted to reach Rickard at his home in Colorado. On two occasions, a man who picked up the phone hung up when we asked to speak with Donald Rickard. The activist group RootsAction has launched a campaign to urge the CIA to open its files on Mandela and South Africa, and the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has questioned why corporate media outlets have largely ignored the story. We speak to journalist Andrew Cockburn, who first reported on the CIA link to Mandela’s arrest in 1986 in The New York Times.
CIA ‘provided tip-off that led to the Nelson’s arrest’ and 27 YEARS in prison | Daily Mail Online – An unrepentant former CIA agent has told for the first time how he led South African security forces to Nelson Mandela on the day he was arrested back in 1962.
Donald C Rickard, 88, who was officially working as U.S. vice consul in Durban at the time, said he provided the tip-off as part of a Cold War geopolitical power play because Mandela was ‘the world’s most dangerous communist outside of the Soviet Union’.
The undercover officer learned Mandela would be travelling from Duban to Johannesburg on August 5 and claims he gave details of Mandela’s route to his contacts in the police force, meaning they were able to set up a roadblock, The Sunday Times reports.
The Day Mandela Was Arrested, With A Little Help From the CIA – “Shirley had a high-ranking ‘deep throat,’ a Durban-based Indian, within South African Communist party ranks,” Gerard Ludi, a retired senior South African intelligence agent told the paper.
“I can only guess that Shirley was instructed by his government to supply the information to the South Africans because it was in America’s interest to have Mr. Mandela out of the way.”
A dozen years later, Ludi told me in 1996, he went into business with Shirley, who had officially retired from the CIA. Naturally, they ran a private security business.
Then, in 1985, came the call from a secret South African government unit called Stratcom (Strategic Communications), whose function was to disrupt and destroy anti-apartheid groups, I reported for Salon. Shirley was hired to train the unit’s operatives and develop a covert operations training manual.
Nelson Mandela: CIA tip-off led to 1962 Durban arrest – BBC News – The events leading up the the arrest of Nelson Mandela, on a dark night near Durban in 1962, have always been murky. In the era of Cold War politics, Mandela, then leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was considered a terrorist and a threat to the West.
As Mr Rickard put it, he was “the most dangerous communist” outside of the Soviet Union, although Mandela always denied being a member of the party.
Rumours have circulated for years that the CIA trailed Mandela but the agency resisted previous attempts to shine a light on its alleged involvement in his arrest. Rickard’s admission will bring renewed pressure to declassify documents from the time.
The ANC’s spokesman Zizi Kodwa said he believed the CIA was still meddling in South African affairs and collaborating with those wanting “regime change”.
The future president led the armed resistance movement of the banned ANC, and was one of the most wanted men in South Africa at the time of his arrest.
His ability to evade the security services had earned him the nickname “the black Pimpernel”.
He was posing as a chauffeur when his car was stopped at a roadblock by the police in the eastern city of Durban in 1962 and he was detained.
“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 is quoted as saying.
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: “That revelation confirms what we have always known, that they are working against [us], even today.
“It’s not thumb sucked, it’s not a conspiracy [theory]. It is now confirmed that it did not only start now, there is a pattern in history.”
Mandela, president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, was on a US terror watch list until 2008.