Created: 9/26/1986

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eptember 11

Nelson Mandela: What If Alive andand Free in South Africa? PjbbbbbI


Imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandola Is the most popular leader among South African blacks, many of whom view him aa the presfd*nt-ln-waltmg'ostapartheld South Africa. Mandela, who was in his midfortloi and already had well-established views whan ha entered prisona an African natlonallatocialist e undoubted* had their Impact his fundamental political philosophy has not changed. Before his Imprisonment Mandela

SfK ! mtm/Mcan Communists (moat of whom were notut the evidence on whether heommunist, although not conclusive, tends to support his claim that he never joined the South African Communist Party.

This memorandum was prepared byMMMMM Offica of Leadership Analysis, for the SacretaryofTtatTa Advisory Committee on South Africa. Information available as of6 was used In Its preparation. It was coordinated with th* Directorate of Operations. Comments and Queries are welcome -



rfear-old Mandela were released from prisonha has insistad-ha vary likely would immediatelythe acknowledged leader of most South African blacks. Healsoop position In the ANC. If Pretoria agreedwc would expect Mandela to support the auapenalon oftothe dismantling of apartheid; the creation ofrepresentation; and the Implementationoclatlatwould probably leave some room for compromise,the role of whiteslack-ruled South


No singe individual en|oya more popular support among South African blacksMandela whose popularity crosses all ethnic and geographic lines.hS* IWtmVas their leader and that they

'"'J,,fy hSLwrt.hCongres. even though he no longer

holds an official position in the organisation. Duringears of Imprisonment he has become an almost mythical figure to blacks, embodying their aspirations and goals andymbol of black strength and black resistance to the white regime. He has alsoause calabre- for International critics of tha South African Government.

mofprominent leaderrotest movement

to that of tha unofficial south Africa, aaaaaasssi

I South African offtcials have been considering

UJUJUIPthey fear that the death in prison of the aging

leader (heould trigger massive upheavals and would intensify International cnticism. Pretoria hs, other reasons to consider Some

ei.eve that his release couldublic relationsxacerbate existing Ideological divisions In tha black community and throw th* ANC and other opponents off stride as they adjust to his return to the political fray.

.mJZT rJh tne td8BMandela to his native Transkei.T'b,ack "omelands) or expelling him from the country, but he haa steadfastly refused to consider these options. He has stated that his release must be

Confidential NotVn

uncondiUonel. and h* hai rejected State President P. W. Botha's offar to release himhango for hia ranunclatlon of violence. |

Wa do not think (hat Mandela will change hia mind on tha iaaua of hit unconditional release. Ha almost certainly believes that his remaining In prison serves tha black cause batter than hiaonditional release. He evidently calculate! that hit contmued imprisonment keeps International attention focused on th* South Africa problem and discredits government reform effort*o not Include him. Ha also probably believe* (hat. if Pretoria released him unconditionally, it would bo prepared to negotiate with him. Waen his statements, thai Mandela would Insist that his reiaas* be accompanied by the legalization ol the ANC. |


Confldpmiai Nafbrn

There arescenarios under which Mandela could be released. Including thatrastic deterioration ot his health. What follows Is both en analysis of what w* know about Mandela's ideology and viewsrojection of how we believe he might act If he were released unconditionally and ha and Pretoria tgreed to negotiate. It ia In this letter scenerlo that we believehe would have the greetest Impact on the resolution of the South Africen crisis. I

Mande'# 1hi. clow working

* ommunist Party. " . he. stated thatku" ,h'.li*.0

ommunist, na. never bean able to

substantiate, itsourt or otherwise, despite its considerable

rcVS: hi Peking downegation. Minister

Publicly distanced himself from Pretoria's


contention that Mendele was 'Communist controlled' (the term the aovimmom hnH begun to use)d his belief

Con fid

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