British spied on Mandela - claim

2013-07-11 08:58
Nelson Mandela (File, AFP)

Nelson Mandela (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - British intelligence operatives spied on Nelson Mandela's hideout before he was arrested, Denis Goldberg has claimed.

The ANC bomb-maker said he believed a number of intelligence agencies, including the British and Americans, were watching Liliesleaf farm where Mandela and others were hiding out and plotting to overthrow the apartheid government, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Liliesleaf was the home of a white sympathiser to the ANC rebels.

"We believe that there was a British intelligence agent in the nearby caravan park," he told an audience at a 50th anniversary event to commemorate the raid.

It was thought the man was a bird-watcher as he would climb up a telegraph pole with binoculars every day.

Goldberg was arrested on the farm by the apartheid police on 11 July 1963.

It has long been thought that the CIA provided information that led to Mandela's detention but the involvement of British security agents has rarely been mentioned.

Goldberg's claims are backed by Nicholas Wolpe, the son of another Liliesleaf detainee, Harold Wolpe.

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