What a lost prison manuscript reveals about the real Nelson Mandela, by Rian Malan. Mandela went from being an obscure South African prisoner to possibly the most famous living human, subject of global adulation and a ghostwritten autobiography that sells 15 million. However, it turns out now that the autobiography was written by a politically-correct ghost writer who airbrushed out Mandela’s violent and communist past.
Everyone thought Mandela was a known entity, but he turns out to have led a double life, at least for a time. By day, he was or pretended to be a moderate democrat, fighting to free his people in the name of values all humans held sacred. But by night he donned the cloak and dagger and became a leader of a fanatical sect known for its attachment to the totalitarian Soviet ideal.
When Ellis first aired this theory [in 2011], it read like a Cold War thriller, but when Mandela died [in late 2013], the African National Congress and the SACP [Communist Party] both issued statements confirming that it was true: at the time of his arrest in 1962, Nelson Mandela was a member of the SACP’s innermost central committee.
The prison manuscript is not a smoking gun, but it
does offer insights into the manner in which Mandela’s image has been manipulated over the decades.