Nelson Mandela is dead, and South Africa without “Madiba” will be much the same as it was before: a wreck of a country with slowly collapsing infrastructure, high crime, and the slow-motion genocide of Afrikaners.
None of this much matters to the opinion makers of what used to be the West. For them, the true hallmark of leftist totalitarianism isn’t brutality—it’s kitsch, and we’ll see plenty of that. Mandela will be on every magazine cover, the Internet will be drowning in sentimental schmaltz, and Facebook will be littered with sanctimonious status updates.
The truth is, the saintly visage of Mandela—all crinkly eyes and warm smiles—conceals a violent past as a terrorist. He was the founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, and played a key role in the ANC’s embrace of armed struggle after a “general strike” failed miserably. The first terrorist attacks took place in 1961. In 1962, Mandela left South Africa on an international trip to win support for a violent struggle against the South African government. He negotiated for aid for the African National Congress with various anti-Western governments, including East Germany and Communist China.
Among the countries that pledged him full support were Communist Cuba and the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser, a fellow “anti-colonialist.” Mandela’s international activities also included detailed meetings on strategy with Algeria’s National Liberation Army. Perhaps most importantly, with Mandela acting as an international agent for the ANC, the Soviet Union provided massive amounts of financial and military aid to Unkhonto we Sizwe.
After this perverse version of international diplomacy, Mandela underwent intensive military training in Ethiopia, where he learned sabotage, bombing, and guerrilla warfare. Upon his return to South Africa, Mandela was arrested for leaving the country without a passport and for inciting a strike. Later, he was tried along with other members of the ANC in the famous Rivonia Trial. The government alleged 235 separate acts of sabotage.
Most importantly, the South African authorities captured documents about Operation Mayibuye, a plan for a sweeping military confrontation with the government. Mandela was found guilty, along with almost all the other defendants. Because of international pressure, Mandela was sentenced only to life imprisonment rather than death, even though the government believed it had prevented a bloody civil war.
Though Mandela was imprisoned before he could personally direct his organization’s campaign of terror, there would still be blood. Mandela’s group and the African National Congress went on to kill scores of innocent people, some via the infamous “necklacing” technique endorsed by Mandela’s wife, Winnie. The group became notorious for its bombing campaign, most notably the Church Street bombing which killed 19 people. The group also mined rural roads used by farmers, which killed at least 120 people, many of them black laborers.
In 1985, the South African government offered to release Mandela if he would repudiate violence as a means to bring about political change. He refused the offer. Mandela was later forced to admit that the African National Congress “routinely” used torture against suspected “enemy agents.” Many of the ANC’s violent activities were not directed at the apartheid government but against the Zulus and their political movement, the Inkatha Freedom Party. However, whites always remained a special target. Even after his release, Mandela was willing to indulge in musical fantasies about killing whites.
At the time of his trial, Mandela denied being a member of the Communist Party—something we now know was a lie. Mandela worked closely with the Communist Party of South Africa, and the African National Congress was sustained and supported by the Soviet Union. Mandela never renounced any of his ties with Communist leaders. Only last June, the Huffington Post, which is scandalized by just about everything sensible, casually reported on the close relationship between Nelson Mandela and Communist dictator Fidel Castro.
Because of these long-standing associations and violent tactics, Margaret Thatcher condemned the African National Congress in 1987 as a “typical terrorist organization,” and said anyone who thought they would ever run the government was “living in cloud cuckoo land.” The Conservative Party youth distributed propaganda calling for him to be hanged.
The United States listed the African National Congress as a terrorist organization until 2008, and President Ronald Reagan strongly resisted efforts to impose sanctions on the beleaguered South African government. In this, he was supported by most of the American conservative movement, although Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp, and Richard Lugar argued for confrontation with the white government, promising it would “win Republicans the black vote.” (Some things never change).
However, as tempting as it is to simply point out Mandela’s past as a Communist terrorist, in some ways his reinvention as a “reconciliator” is worse. It is true that as President of South Africa, Mandela did not unleash a campaign of state directed violence against whites. Instead, he largely maintained the economic system for the benefit of those already in power, while systematically dispossessing middle class and working class whites, especially Afrikaners. Nor was this particularity surprising, considering Mandela and the ANC’s history.
Though the African National Congress was aligned with the Communists, they received far friendlier treatment from big business than did their nationalist Boer rivals. Secret meetings were held between the African National Congress and South African business leaders even as the guerrilla war continued, and British business interests were instrumental in setting up talks between Afrikaner elites and the ANC. No such efforts ever took place between the captains of industry and the would-be leaders of an independent Boer Republic, suggesting that business leaders feared Eugene Terre’Blanche’s concept of an economy run for the “folk” more than they feared black rule.
In the negotiations that preceded the end of white rule, the ANC, business leaders, and the ruling National Party formed a united front against Boer nationalists and Afrikaner patriots, even to the point of opposing leaders such as General Constand Viljoen, who betrayed a Boer secession plan in exchange for a promise that a Boer homeland would be considered. Once Mandela got the concessions he wanted, he refused any such consideration.
President Mandela and his new regime concentrated on reconciling whites to the new government by means of widely publicized symbolic efforts while stripping them of any collective economic, social, or political identity. Mandela won praise for letting “Afrikaner leaders” such as F.W. De Klerk serve in his government, but this was nothing more than continuing his working relationship with collaborators.
Poverty among Afrikaners has soared in the years since the end of apartheid, with thousands reduced to living in squatter camps. South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world and is famous for its gated communities and private security companies. The nation also has a high rate of HIV/AIDS infection, which isn’t helped by black government officials who think the cure is a diet heavy in garlic. Mandela’s response has been to criticize the media for focusing too much on crime. He did nothing to stop what is now widely accepted as the opening stages of genocide against Boer farmers, and implemented anti-white racial preferences even as whites became an all but powerless minority.
Mandela achieved a reputation for magnanimity, presumably because he didn’t simply try to kill all his political enemies, as many of his “democratic” colleagues did in other African countries. A great deal of this was simply media friendly gestures, such as Mandela wearing a Springboks jersey (a tale worthy of movie apparently) or honoring former State Presidents when they died. Mandela was smart enough to understand that South Africa depended on whites keeping their wealth and technical skill in the country; he wanted to squeeze the goose that laid the golden eggs, not kill it. Wealthy South Africans and business interests, who were his allies early on, kept the South African economy from collapse, albeit from behind gated communities guarded by private security forces.
Nonetheless, Afrikaners as a people have been destroyed. The names of Afrikaner heroes have been torn from towns, streets, and public squares, and replaced with those of “anti-apartheid” leaders. The collective white defense forces known as “commandos” have been outlawed, meaning that those unable to afford private security companies are left vulnerable to black violence.
Since Mandela refused any consideration of a Boer homeland, numbers alone ensure that Afrikaners are politically disenfranchised. More than 750,000 whites have left the country, but Boer farmers are trapped. Their wealth—their farmland—is illiquid. If they did try to leave, confiscatory taxation would leave them all but penniless. Mandela’s magnanimity consisted in keeping whites around to pay taxes to keep his one-party ANC dictatorship going, but denying them meaningful representation.
It will only get worse. His critics on to his left, including his murdering ex-wife, complained that black poverty has not notably improved since the ANC takeover. Because there is no thought to lifting the restrictions on white economic activity and thus creating more wealth for everyone, blacks are turning to their usual policy alternative: outright confiscation. Julius Malema, former ANC youth leader, is forming a new political party with the specific purpose of “fighting white males.” The government is even trying to stop charities from helping poor whites. South Africa is already exploring “land reform” on the Zimbabwean model, which has plunged the former Breadbasket of Africa into dystopian chaos—to the indifference of the world.
Even the largely symbolic magnanimous gestures, like keeping the Springboks, have been reversed. As the social norms of the state founded by whites fade away, everything declines. Today, the State President of South Africa is a polygamous Zulu who thinks you can wash away HIV with a shower, and he’s probably better than whoever is coming next.
Mandela deserves full responsibility for all of this. From the beginning, his dream was of a unitary South African state dominated by black voters supporting a leftist political party, with a thin crust of whites to fund it and keep it going. South Africa’s decline into criminality and chaos is simply these ideas playing out to their logical conclusion. Independence, apartheid, and even the terrorism of the AWB were all Afrikaner attempts to avoid exactly what has occurred: political dispossession followed by measures that will lead to collective economic and social extinction.
If anything, a sudden outbreak of anti-white violence upon Mandela’s death would be a good thing. It would give the Afrikaners—a warrior people if there ever was one—a reason to fight back. Instead, the legacy of Mandela is the slow genocide of the people who turned South Africa into a First–World nation in the midst of the Dark Continent. Though some whites will be suffered to live, work, and die for the benefit for their black masters, whites have no future in South Africa, and what few opportunities they have for even a decent life are shrinking every day. Mandela represented exploitation under the guise of magnanimity, murder in the name of democracy, genocide with a smile. We should mourn the old terrorist’s death only because he didn’t live to see his destructive work undone on the day when the Boers—and the rest of us—are once again free.