While the mass media devoted hours of broadcast time and scores of articles to Mandela’s release, they missed a key part of the story on how he got to prison in the first place–namely, the CIA’s reported role in luring Mandela to his capture.
Mandela was arrested in August 1962, while traveling disguised as a chauffeur. According to 1986 reports in the South African press, Mandela had been on his way to a top secret meeting with the U.S. consul in Durban, South Africa–Donald Rickard, a diplomat reputed to be a CIA officer. Rickard, the reports said, had tipped off the South African authorities to the time and place of his meeting with Mandela, allowing him to be apprehended.
This story was referred to on CBS Evening News (8/5/86), in an op-ed column in the New York Times (10/13/86), and it received extensive coverage in the Fall/Winter 1986 National Reporter. But in all the reporting on Mandela’s release, FAIR saw no mention of the CIA’s reputed role in his capture.