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Leadership: How Nelson Mandela defended his relationship with Col. Gaddafi during an Interview, in 1990

Soon after Nelson Mandela was released from his 27 year-long prison sentence, he was invited to a Town Hall meeting with American journalist Ted Koppel as part of the leader’s first visit to the USA. Watch a clip of the interview where Mandela assertively defends his relationships with some of the US’s nemeses.


In 1990, Nelson Mandela visited the U.S. for the first time after being freed from 27 years of imprisonment in South Africa. During his visit he also conducted his first interview with Ted Koppel of ABC News. At the time, Koppel was known as one of the toughest and most feared TV reporters and interviewers in America. His ABC news show, “Nightline”, was one of the top rated late night programs on television.


The interview turned out to be an openly biased attempt to assassinate Nelson Mandela’s character, credibility, and cause. With the bulk of Koppel’s preselected questioners being either conservative Republican plants, apartheid sympathizers, opponents of Mandela’s African National Congress party (ANC), and/or known members of the white supremacists Apartheid regime. Due to the wisdom and strength of Nelson Mandela, the assassination attempt failed miserable.

Watch a section of the interview where Koppel interrogates Mandela over his alliances with some of the Unites States’ nemeses: Former Libyan president Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi, former Cuban president Fidel Castro and the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. Koppel really underestimated the man who, even in old age, was as sharp as ever.


Written by How Africa

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