How the United States spied on Nelson Mandela

How the United States spied on Nelson Mandela

The Washington-based group Property of the People reportedly released thousands of pages of US intelligence documents on Mandela on Wednesday, July 2018, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

US intelligence agencies allegedly continued to monitor Nelson Mandela as a potential Communist menace even after he was released from prison.

According to Reuters, the group obtained the documents after years of litigation.

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“The documents reveal that, just as it did in the 1950s and 60s with Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement, the FBI aggressively investigated the US and South African anti-apartheid movements as Communist plots imperilling American security,” the group’s president Ryan Shapiro said in a statement.

“Worse still, the documents demonstrate the FBI continued its wrong-headed Communist menace investigations of Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement even after US imposition of trade sanctions against apartheid South Africa, after Mandela’s globally-celebrated release from prison, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

The documents further revealed that Mandela, who died in 2013 and remains a global icon for his struggle against apartheid and message of reconciliation after 27 years in prison, was regarded with suspicion by the United States during the Cold War and remained on the US terrorism watchlist until 2008.

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Property of the People said its trove included documents from the major US intelligence agencies, the FBI, CIA, DIA and NSA, most of which have never been seen by the public.

“The Mandela Files” can be found on its website.

Celebrations have been held across the country this week to mark Mandela’s 100th birthday, including a rousing speech on Tuesday, July 18, by former US president Barack Obama.

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Meanwhile, understands that that Michelle Obama, the wife of former President Obama, slammed US President Donald Trump for being “mediocre”, during a speech at a charity event in Scotland.


The former first lady arrived in Edinburgh on Tuesday, July 17, for the charity event organised by The Hunter Foundation.

Up to 900 guests packed into the EICC venue in anticipation of hearing Ms Obama shed light on her time as First Lady during a conversation moderated by five-time Olympic medalist Dame Katherine Grainger.

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