Blast from the Past File: World mourns passing of South Africa’s first post-apartheid president, Mandela dead at 95 years; Nelson admitted sabotage in 1962-64 Rivonia trial, denied insurgency, Communist Party membership; South African Communist Party settles decades-old controversy in statement: Mandela member of SACP Central Committee at time of arrest
December 6, 2013
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At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolise the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle. The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba [Mandela’s nickname] became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.
— Statement issued by South African Communist Party, December 6, 2013
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