A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

Categories: Africa | Conflict | History | Nations | Society

For modern society, Nelson Mandela is an example of a man who, against all odds, defeated evil and achieved justice. The smiling and short grandfather looks like a kind-hearted person, however, this is not entirely true. Before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mandela was South Africa's top terrorist, who was sent to prison for life for his crimes.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

In the 16th century, Europeans arrived in South Africa. Most of them were French Huguenots and Dutch peasants, who were called Boers. They were distinguished by their hard work, stubbornness and religiosity. The colonists settled on empty lands, began to build farms and raise livestock on free pastures. Farmers had many children and did not need additional labor.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

Local blacks died in frequent skirmishes, died from disease and hunger, and sold each other into slavery. Many of them preferred to go to the Boers and get hired. It was hard to work on the farms and mines of white owners, but it was still better than waiting for a quick death in their native savannah. In 1961, the Republic of South Africa left British rule and gained independence.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

The country established an apartheid regime, which ordered the white minority to live separately from the black majority. Descendants of Europeans made up 20% of the population, but they owned 87% of the land. Blacks were deprived of political rights, lived in poverty and could only enter white towns and cities with special permission. The blacks did not like this, and they fought against the white masters, who, it turned out, were exploiting their ancestors, although they themselves came to them.

The flagship of the fight against white oppressors was the Youth League of the African National Congress, organized by student Nelson Mandela. Activists staged pickets and strikes, the organization was financed through voluntary contributions and donations from black businessmen; there were others like that in South Africa.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

Despite the oppression, the standard of living of blacks in the republic was much higher than in neighboring states.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

No money was given, but after the events in Sharpeville, Mandela decided to take decisive action. He led the militant organization "Umkhonto we Sizwe", which translated from the Zulu language means "Spear of the Nation". On December 16, 1961, activists blew up a power line and later detonated a bomb at Johannesburg train station.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

The “tip of the spear” hit passport offices, judges’ offices, and police stations. Over two years, on Mandela's orders, 156 sabotage and terrorist attacks occurred, in which dozens of people died. The fighters were trained in Algeria and the Soviet Union, where part of the finances needed for the fight came from. At the same time, Mandela's name appeared on the FBI list of dangerous terrorists.

In the summer of 1963, Mandela and several of his associates were arrested at one of the farms. According to the court's decision, Nelson Mandela received a life sentence, of which he served 27 years. It is generally accepted that he was in difficult conditions behind bars, but this is not so. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, where no one stopped him from writing the books “I Am Ready to Die” and “No Easy Path to Freedom.”

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

The administration appointed him as a cartographer, and he spent hours walking around the outskirts of the island, and several years before his release, the terrorist was transferred to a separate comfortable cottage. In the 80s, the government offered Mandela release in exchange for a public renunciation of the struggle, but he did not agree. He also received the right to meet with his wife every week, through whom he continued to lead the Spear of the Nation.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

While the leader was in prison, his fighters continued their actions. In the 1980s alone they committed 982 acts of sabotage. In addition to government institutions, ordinary people came under terrorist attacks. Blacks attacked farms and killed hated whites. The “necklace” became a common execution. A car tire, previously doused with gasoline, was placed around the prisoner's neck. After which it was set on fire. From such an execution the unfortunate man died in terrible agony.

Mandela's first wife, Evilyn Maze, wrote that her husband was a cruel and unprincipled man. However, this can be attributed to a woman’s resentment, but his second wife, Winnie Mandela, was much more interesting. She was an influential leader of the resistance to white power and in 1986, at a speech in the city of Montseville, she said that boxes of matches and “necklaces” would help them liberate the country. So she hinted at burning tires.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

In 1992, pornographic letters that Vinnie wrote to her husband’s lawyer, who was in prison at the time, were published in the media. Under the guise of a football team for black teenagers from the suburbs of Johannesburg, she organized a school for young terrorists. One of the guys who refused to learn how to detonate bombs was killed right in the Mandel house. Witnesses claimed that Vinnie stabbed the victim twice with a knife.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

The woman escaped punishment, but the team’s “coach” received a prison sentence. Vinny was later convicted of fraud.

In 1989, under pressure from the world community, the white government of South Africa released Nelson Mandela and legalized his militant organization. After leaving prison, Mandela divorced Winnie and joined the political struggle.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

After his release, speaking to black activists, Mandela will say that the factors that forced them to take up arms still exist, which means it is too early to abandon violence. At the same time, the slogan became popular among the black population: “One farmer, one bullet!” Civil war was brewing. The white population was actively arming itself and in one day in South Africa 500 weapons licenses were issued.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

The turning point came after a terrorist attack in 1993, when an explosion occurred during a service in the Church of St. James, killing 12 people. In the spring of 1994, general elections were held, which resulted in Nelson Mandela becoming president. The year before, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, making the former terrorist the new leader of the nation.

The American magazine The American Thinker asked a logical question: how does the leader of the “Spear of the Nation” differ from, for example, Bin Laden. They both fought for the rights of a certain group of people and used terror for these purposes. There is one difference - Mandela did not oppose the United States. If Bin Laden had not attacked America, maybe in the future he would have received not the label of a terrorist, but the Nobel Peace Prize.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

After Mandela, South Africa had four black presidents, each of whom was remembered not for reforms, but for scandals. Nelson's associate and friend Thabo Mbeki is accused of corruption, murder and rape, and Jacob Zuma, who has eight wives, is also involved in sex scandals.

A symbol of peace with a bloody past: why Nelson Mandela received a life sentence

At the celebration of his 92nd birthday, the venerable Nobel Peace Prize laureate and father of the nation was moved by congratulations and sang with the guests a popular anthem song among blacks, the chorus of which says: “Kill the Boer!” Today, South Africa is experiencing a sharp decline in its white population. Descendants of the Boers leave for the USA, Australia, Europe, and those who remain in their homeland live under siege. According to statistics, one farmer is killed every day in South Africa.

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