The sculpture of former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela stands tall outside the Parliament Square, London while the apartheid regime was strongly supported by Britain under Margaret Thatcherâ„¢s premiership.
Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times under Dutch and British rule and years later after World War II hit the country the hardest during South African apartheid era (1948-1994) when racial discrimination was institutionalized with race laws touching every aspect of peopleâ„¢s social lives.
In fact, former British PM Margaret Thatcher supported the apartheid when it was at its deadliest and most evil, killing many dissident citizens in the late 1980s with state terrorism at home and with illegal security force actions abroad.
When much of the world enforced sanctions on the racist South African regime in the 1980s, former British leader refused to isolate apartheid although it had been described as a crime against humanity.
Thatcher, branded as apartheid supporter, instead perused the so-called policy of Å“constructive engagement” with South Africaâ„¢s white ruling minority, claiming that the policy of sanctions would harm the poorest in the country.
At a press conference in 1987, Thatcher dismissed the African National Congress (ANC) under jailed leader Nelson Mandela as Å“a typical terrorist organization”.
Moreover, at a meeting of Commonwealth countries in 1987 when suggested the ANC could come to power, her spokesperson said Å“It is cloud cuckoo land for anyone to believe that could be done.”
The abolishment of apartheid occurred in 1994 democratic general elections when ANC won under Mandela. The anti-apartheid revolutionary became South Africaâ„¢s first black president and served the country from 1994-1999.
The support from Thatcher, young David Cameron and many other Conservatives not only helped the evil apartheid state to survive as long as it did, but also helped to keep freedom-fighter Mandela and other activists behind bars inside the vile prisons of the regime.
Today, the 94-year-old Nelson Mandela might be hailed by British officials as a hero while in his hospital bed and his name might as well be uttered in houses of parliament, but these would just mark a stark contrast with the twenty-year Commons silence that followed Mandelaâ„¢s imprisonment in 1962.
Republished with permission from: Press TV