U.S. Supported White Minority- Rule in South Africa

George E. Curry | 12/31/2013, 1:14 a.m.
PRETORIA, South Africa (NNPA) – President Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush flew to ...
Jesse Jackson with U.S Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, a sharp contrast to the “constructive engagement” of Ronald Reagan NNPA Photo by George E. Curry


PRETORIA, South Africa (NNPA) – President Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush flew to South Africa to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela, the country’s first democratically elected president who died on Dec. 5 at the age of 95.

At the height of South Africa’s campaign against the warrior for majority rule in South Africa, the U.S. government’s behavior was far from respectful as it supported a regime that oppressed more than 90 percent of its people.

Under South Africa’s rigid racial segregation system known as apartheid, Whites were only 5 to 10 percent of the population but allocated 87 percent of the land to themselves, forcing other racial groups – Black, Coloured, and Indian – to live in segregated homelands away from Whites in the central cities. Officials denied people of color citizenship while maintaining an all-White government, prohibited Blacks from traveling outside their overpopulated segregated homelands without a passbook and operated segregated, unequal education systems that tracked Whites for professional jobs and Blacks for menial employment.

In 1947, South Africa passed the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act that prohibited marriage between persons of different races. A year later, it passed the Immorality Act, which made sexual relations with a person of a different race a criminal offense. When there were Black uprisings to protest minority-rule, anti-apartheid leaders were either arrested or murdered.

Yet, the U.S., which prides itself as the world’s foremost democracy, continued to support the violent apartheid regime.

“The C.I.A. actually colluded with apartheid,” Jesse Jackson said in an interview here. “That’s not anything we can be proud of.”

And the U.S. certainly shouldn’t be proud of the way it helped neutralize Nelson Mandela as he fought oppression.

As Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” radio program, said on MSNBC, “The U.S. devoted more resources to finding Mandela to hand over to the apartheid forces than the apartheid forces themselves.”

According to an op-ed in the New York Times, “The fugitive leader of the African National Congress was arrested in August 1962 while driving through the town of Howick, in Natal Province, disguised as a white man’s chauffeur. At his subsequent trial, he was sentenced to life in prison. Nowadays, of course, all shades of opinion in the United States are united in pleading for his release. Such pleas might be a little more heartfelt if it were generally appreciated that his arrest came as a result of a tip-off from the Central Intelligence Agency to the authorities.

“According to recent reports in The Johannesburg Star and on CBS News, Mr. Mandela was traveling to meet a C.I.A. officer who was working out of the United States Consulate in Durban, the capital of Natal. Instead of attending the meeting, the C.I.A. man told the police exactly where and when the most hunted man in South Africa could be found.”

The C.I.A.’s support of minority-rule in South Africa did not stop with the fingering of Mandela.

The New York Times article explained. “At the end of the 1960′s, the C.I.A. supplied advice and assistance in the creation of the infamous Bureau of State Security. In 1975, the C.I.A. worked closely with the South African military in their abortive invasion of Angola….”