Madiba stood up for 'brother leaders'

People hold Palestinian flags and a banner reading 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign' during a protest against Grammy-winning American musician Pharrell Williams near the Grand west Casino where he was holding a concert in Cape Town, on 21 September, 2015.
People hold Palestinian flags and a banner reading 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign' during a protest against Grammy-winning American musician Pharrell Williams near the Grand west Casino where he was holding a concert in Cape Town, on 21 September, 2015.
Image: AFP

Nelson Mandela was a frequent advocate of the Palestinian cause.

Mandela called Israel a "terror state" in October 1990 during a visit to Australia, lambasting Israel for "slaughtering defenceless and innocent Arabs in the occupied territories".

In an interview in June 1990 with ABC News, Mandela said: "We identify with the PLO because, just like ourselves, they are fighting for the right of self-determination. To think that, because [Yasser] Arafat is conducting a struggle against Israel that we must therefore condemn him, we can't do it. It is just not possible."

Here are some quotes from him that are less likely to be published in the mainstream media as his life is honored and his death commemorated.

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, Mandela slammed the actions of the US at a speech made at the International Women's Forum in Johannesburg, saying former president George W. Bush's primary motive was "oil".

Mandela did not hold back from making hard-hitting statements against the US, and repeatedly spoke out against the prospect of it invading Iraq. "If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace."

Mandela met with Fidel Castro in 1991, giving a speech alongside him titled "How Far We Slaves Have Come". Mandela hailed Cuba's "special place" in the heart of the people of Africa, its revolution, and how far the country had come.

Mandela urged for the end to harsh UN sanctions imposed upon Libya in 1997, and pledged his support for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was a long-time supporter of his.

"It is our duty to give support to the brother leader. especially in regards to the sanctions which are not hitting just him, they are hitting the ordinary masses of the people. our African brothers and sisters," Mandela said.

Dineo Maboe

KwaMashu, Durban

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