Former CIA operative Donald Rickard revealed that he tipped off the South African apartheid authorities in 1962, who went on to arrest the world famous resistance fighter and political leader Nelson Mandela. Rickard unapologetically confessed this during a deathbed interview with filmmaker John Irvin, whose documentary “Mandela’s Gun” will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
“He could have incited a war in South Africa, the United States would have to get involved, grudgingly, and things could have gone to hell,” Rickard said. “We were teetering on the brink here and it had to be stopped, which meant Mandela had to be stopped. And I put a stop to it.”
Mandela served 27 years in prison for fighting against the colonial occupation and apartheid system of the white government. He spent 18 of those years on the infamous Robben Island in Cape Town, which is now a major tourist attraction in South Africa.
Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95. His legacy as a liberation fighter and statesman lives on in the hearts of black South Africans and millions of others around the world.