CCDS Statement on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

Posted by admin on December 13, 2013 under CCDS Today, Solidarity, South Africa | 2 Comments to Read

The world is engaged in an unprecedented global celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela.  Little-known information about his life is coming to light for the first time.

For us on the global Left, we approach the celebration of the revered freedom fighter’s life from a somewhat different perspective from what is  appearing on television screens around the world.

Nelson Mandela was the first to say that the South African liberation struggle was led collectively. The decades-long alliance of the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party, and the South African trade union movement –  most recently, the Congress of South African Trade Unions — worked together inside the country in urban centers and rural villages,  in exile around the world, and in an armed struggle led by Umkhonto we Sizwe, over many years. While there are many reasons why Mandela came to represent the leadership of this alliance, tens of thousands of women and men collectively brought the South African National Democratic Revolution to the breakthrough  of the first democratic election of 1994.

Nelson Mandela was unwavering –  against severe pressure from the apartheid forces, the United States, and others — in his unwillingness to renounce his and the ANC’s association with the South African Communist Party and its leaders such as Chris Hani and Joe Slovo. His personal friendships with Communist leaders lasted for the rest of their lives.

At this time, information comes to light that Mandela was maintained on the United States’ "Terrorist Watch List" as late as 2008.  A campaign has been launched to open the files of the Central Intelligence Agency concerning Mandela and his activities during the 1960s prior to his imprisonment.

CCDS demands the full truth be told about the relationship between the US Government and the apartheid regime’s suppression of the South African liberation movement.

CCDS continues to hope for the ongoing deepening of struggles for democracy and economic equality in the the U.S. in South Africa and across the globe. This is a difficult period for the people of South Africa, millions  of whom face dire poverty, unemployment, illness –  particularly HIV-AIDS –   and racial and gender oppression almost twenty years after political democracy was won. The example of Nelson Mandela’s "ethical core" – as some have termed it — must remain alive in every nation and people’s movement and is needed now, more than ever.

Viva Nelson Mandela, Viva!

National Executive Committee, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
United States, Dec 12, 2013

[Thanks to Marilyn Albert in preparing this. A CCDS leader and a trade unionist, she was an International Observer of the 1994 election in South Africa and worked with the COSATU health care union in South Africa for about a year during 1996-97.]

  • Steve Willett said,

    For many of us in this country, the campaign to end apartheid and to free Nelson Mandela was was part of our coming of age, politically. For me it was UC Berkeley where, as a labor activist, I was joined with my comrades in the campaign for divestment and in support of the ILWU actions at the port of Oakland.

    I was fortunate to be at the Oakland Coliseum to see and hear him after his release from prison.

    Nelsen Mandele, Presente..

  • Jim Young said,

    The article on Mandela demonstrated clearly the advantages realized by unity on the Left, which obviously applies to the U.S. as well as everywhere else. No “American exceptionalism” on that point!
    Jim Young
    Harrisburg, PA

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