I was studying up on Nelson Mandela recently to come across some information that would imply that he was responsible for the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians during the apartheid.
"Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, translated as "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela, which fought against the South African government. MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organization by the South African government and the United States, and banned."
"Landmark events in MK's military activity inside South Africa consisted of actions designed to intimidate the ruling power. In 1983, the Church Street bomb was detonated in Pretoria near the SA Air Force Headquarters, resulting in 19 civilian fatalities and 217 persons injured. During the next 10 years, a series of bombings occurred in South Africa, conducted mainly by the military wing of the African National Congress.
In the Amanzimtoti bomb on the Natal South Coast in 1985, five civilians were killed and 40 were injured when MK cadre Andrew Sibusiso Zondo detonated an explosive in a rubbish bin at a shopping centre killing five people, including three children, shortly before Christmas. In a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the ANC stated that Zondo acted on orders after a recent SADF raid in Lesotho.
A bomb was detonated in a bar on the Durban beach-front in 1986, killing three civilians and injuring 69. Robert McBride received the death penalty for this bombing which became known as the "Magoo's Bar bombing". Although the subsequent Truth and Reconciliation Committee called the bombing a "gross violation of human rights", McBride received amnesty and became a senior police officer.
In 1987, an explosion outside a Johannesburg court killed three people and injured 10; a court in Newcastle had been attacked in a similar way the previous year, injuring 24. In 1987, a bomb exploded at a military command centre in Johannesburg, killing one person and injuring 68 personnel.
The bombing campaign continued with attacks on a series of soft targets, including a bank in Roodepoort in 1988, in which four civilians were killed and 18 injured. Also in 1988, in a bomb detonation outside a magistrate's court killed three. At the Ellis Park rugby stadium in Johannesburg, a car bomb, killed two and injured 37 civilians. A multitude of bombs in "Wimpy Bar" fast food outlets and supermarkets occurred during the late 1980s, killing and wounding many people. Wimpy were specifically targeted because of their perceived rigid enforcements of many Apartheid-era laws, including excluding people of colour from their restaurants. Several other bombings occurred, with smaller numbers of casualties."
"Inspired by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement in the Cuban Revolution, in 1961 Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation", abbreviated MK) with Sisulu and the communist Joe Slovo. Becoming chairman of the militant group, he gained ideas from illegal literature on guerilla warfare by Mao and Che Guevara. Officially separate from the ANC, in later years MK became the group's armed wing. Most early MK members were white communists; after hiding in communist Wolfie Kodesh's flat in Berea, Mandela moved to the communist-owned Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, there joined by Raymond Mhlaba, Slovo and Bernstein, who put together the MK constitution. Operating through a cell structure, the MK agreed to acts of sabotage to exert maximum pressure on the government with minimum casualties, bombing military installations, power plants, telephone lines and transport links at night, when civilians were not present. Mandela noted that should these tactics fail, MK would resort to "guerilla warfare and terrorism." Soon after ANC leader Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the MK publicly announced its existence with 57 bombings on Dingane's Day (16 December) 1961, followed by further attacks on New Year's Eve."
What is your personal opinion on Nelson Mandela? Are the crimes of the government an excuse to kill innocent civilians, including unarmed men, women and children?