Today, Friday 5th August 2022, marks sixty years since the capture of President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at Howick in the province of KwaZulu Natal. Madiba’s arrest was a turning point in the struggle for liberation. His role as the most wanted man changed to lifelong imprisonment.
The commemoration of his arrest reminds us that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) collaborated with the Apartheid South Africa regime tracking him on his visit to 19 African countries which ultimately led to his arrest, trial and incarceration, the same way it now arms and supports the Apartheid Israel regime despite its occupation and atrocities against the Palestinian people.
Nelson Mandela was the first Commander in Chief of the ANCs armed Wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe and was considered terrorist by the Apartheid regime and their imperialist allies. Even after his release and during his tenure as President of the Republic of South Africa, Madiba was on the terrorist list until US Congress lifted it in 2008.
During his six months clandestine trip to Africa and the United Kingdom he met with Heads of State and leaders of the liberation movement including undergoing military training in Algeria. During our visit to Algeria in 2017 Nouredin Joudi who was President Mandela’s translator during the 1962 training described the details of the trip and how they met other African leaders.
Upon return from his trip, he was picked up in Botswana by fellow comrade Cecil Williams. He reported on his trip to ANC President in KwaZulu-Natal, and on his way back to Johannesburg on Sunday 5 August 1962 disguised as a chauffeur with Williams driving, they were stopped by the police and he was taken into custody.
The arrest day is commemorated by visits to the capture site which now boasts a museum with a world class sculpture. We also initiated the Nelson Mandela Marathon which has become a highly popular event on the global athletics calendar and has been growing in stature.
On this arrest day we also make a call for the release of all political prisoners all over the world especially in Occupied Palestine. Madiba’s arrest day must serve as an encouragement and inspiration that regardless how dark the days may seem freedom will eventually dawn.
President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela dedicated his life to the liberation of all oppressed and suffering people of the world. He worked tirelessly to uphold the cause of human rights and believed that every human being has the right to be treated with dignity and honour.
Nkosi Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of famed South African President Nelson Mandela. Member of Parliament (MP) South Africa National Assembly. All articles by Nkosi Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela