Uncovering the nature and extent of U.S. intelligence agency efforts to surveil and subvert Nelson Mandela and the anti-Apartheid movement

Read the documents in this project

Property of the People works to uncover the extent of U.S. intelligence agency efforts to surveil and subvert Nelson Mandela and the anti-Apartheid movement.

With the Mandela Files project, POTP set out to shed light on why the U.S. intelligence community understood Nelson Mandela as a threat to American security, and what actions U.S. intelligence took to thwart Mandela and the anti-Apartheid movement’s efforts to secure racial justice and democracy in South Africa.

Among other questions, the project seeks information on the role of U.S. intelligence in Mandela’s arrest and 27 years of imprisonment; information on U.S. intelligence agencies’ role in the broader effort to surveil and subvert the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and the United States; and answers as to why the United States placed Nelson Mandela on a terrorist watch list, and how the U.S. kept him on this watch list until 2008.

The FBI, CIA, DIA, and NSA denied our initial FOIA requests for information on Mandela. The NSA even invoked the Espionage Act of 1917 to justify the agency’s denial. The NSA also refused to even acknowledge the existence of records on Mandela, because “the fact of the existence or non-existence of the materials you request is a currently and properly classified matter [….] to be kept secret in the interest of national defense[.]”

So we sued. Our lawsuit against the FBI, CIA, DIA, and NSA is producing excellent results. We’ve

Through ongoing FOIA litigation against the FBI, CIA, DIA and NSA, POTP has already forced disclosure of numerous documents exposing FBI targeting of Mandela and the Anti-Apartheid movement as a Communist plot imperiling U.S. national security.

We’ve exposed FBI placement of a confidential informant within Nelson Mandela’s inner circle to provide political information to the FBI on Mandela and his anti-Apartheid associates in the U.S. We exposed FBI spying on Mandela’s meeting with the President of Yugoslavia. And we exposed FBI surveillance of Mandela’s meeting with Puerto Rican independence activists.

Property of the People is expanding the Mandela Files project to cover additional subjects and agencies.

Selected Media Coverage

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