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Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 Dec. 2013, would have been 100-years-old today. He oversaw the transition from apartheid to majority rule in South Africa, gaining a near-saintly reputation. But his legacy, and that of his party, the African National Congress, is more complicated.
The Soviet Union before the Second World War had little knowledge of Africa. One of its few focuses was South Africa, the most developed state, and the #ANC from its foundations was tied up with the slavishly pro-Soviet #SACP and more directly with Soviet intelligence.
By the 1930s, the Soviets lost interest in revolution in Africa, though retained its #ANC assets. In the 1960s, the U.S.S.R. moved to try to win the Cold War in the Third World. It provided money and other support to the ANC, plus encouraging a virtual merger with the SACP.
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