Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw, People’s Republic of Poland, 1971.
By Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, Cox News Service
June 10, 1990 — For nearly 28 years the U.S. government has harbored an increasingly embarrassing secret: A CIA tip to South African intelligence agents led to the arrest that put black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela in prison for most of his adult life.
But now, with Mandela en route to the U.S. to a hero`s welcome, a former U.S. official has revealed that he has known of the CIA role since Mandela was seized by agents of the South African police special branch on Aug. 5, 1962.
The former official, now retired, said that within hours after Mandela’s arrest Paul Eckel, then a senior CIA operative, walked into his office and said approximately these words: “We have turned Mandela over to the South African security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be. They have picked him up. It is one of our greatest coups.”