Thousands of pages of US intelligence documents on Nelson Mandela were made public on Wednesday, revealing that Washington continued to monitor the South African anti-apartheid hero as a potential Communist menace even after he was released from prison, a group that sued to obtain the papers said.
The Washington-based group Property of the People released the papers to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth. It said it obtained them after years of litigation.
“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.”