Since Nelson Mandela has now been dubbed the man of the millennium and celebrated in the United States of America and throughout Europe as a statesman; there is a concerted effort in the West to portray him as Gandhi. While Mandela greatly admired Gandhi he was no Gandhi. Nobody is jailed for 27 years just for believing in some broad philosophies of non-violence.
Mandela founded “Umkhonto we Sizwe” or MK meaning the spear of the nation. This was the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). This was in an effort to arm the South Africans against an illegitimate racist government which enjoyed arms support from the Reagan Administration of the United States. There was a belief back in those days that anyone who opposed American policy however misguided or immoral was a communist and needed to be fought against. In the case of South Africa, the view was that the undemocratic apartheid government was an ally. America the shiny city on a hill; the moral compass as she portrayed herself violated her own principles and values when she supported the non-democratic system of apartheid and abandoned the idea that government should be of the people for the people or chosen by the majority.
Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary and like even the American revolutionaries who fought against the British government when they wanted freedom from colonial rule. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine wanted full freedom at all costs in the same way that Nelson Mandela and the members of “Umkhonto we Sizwe” MK posed a perceived or potential threat that they felt that they had to arrest Mandela on grounds of treason and whatever charges they could trump up. History should be teach that Mandela believed in force not as they want to portray him in the West or how people would have rather he was but as Mandela really was a believer that force is necessary to get back the land and freedom for the people.
Non-violence would have never worked in South Africa because apartheid is a system which responded only to violent. An African minister once stated that freedom is like the kingdom of God which suffers violence and only the violent take it by force.
Ronald Reagan and the architects of American foreign policy could not conceive that someone whose land was stolen actually had a right to take it back by force.