The myth that Thatcher (and her admirers) supported apartheid is one of the core beliefs of the Comrade Blimpish left. Charles Moore touched on it in The Telegraph this morning. It is a false charge and Nelson Mandela himself was in no doubt – saying of Margaret Thatcher in July 1990 only a few months after his release: “She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for.”
We all know that the allegation that Thatcher referred to Mandela as a terrorist was incorrect, although yes, she did once refer to the ANC’s threat to specifically target British interests in South Africa as being “typical of a terrorist organisation.”
And while many people also gleefully shared the:
Anyone who thinks the ANC is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land.
quote when she popped her clogs in April, she didn’t say that either. It was actually Bernard Ingram, a member of her government, sure, but not her.
Here’s a excerpt from the (now declassified) letter sent from Wor Maggie to then President PW Botha in October 1985:
“I continue to believe, as I have said to you before, that the release of Nelson Mandela would have more impact that almost any single action you could undertake.”
The rest of the letter also makes fascinating reading.
HISTORY! It’s not quite as cool as SCIENCE!