Canada´s ´terrorist´label of Mandela´s ANC still irritates South Africa government

The South African government and members of the Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress have complained as recently as this year about Canada´s historic labelling of their organization as a “terrorist organization”.
The apparent flashpoint between Canada and South Africa was raised during Governor General David Johnston’s visit to South Africa last May when he met with officials including South African President Jacob Zuma.
Labelling the ANC as a terrorist organization caused problems for ANC members who wanted to enter Canada. They were required to apply for special visas, because of the terrorist label.
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler said in email exchange with this writer  that he has questioned the Conservative government about visa problems that resulted from Canada´s  historic policy of  labelling the ANC as a terrorist organization as recently as last Monday.
“The Gov suggests the South African ANC visa issue is resolved through its revised policy – I’ve heard conflicting reports,” the former Liberal justice minister said in the Twitter exchange.
President Bill Clinton with Nelson Mandela, Ju...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia) Canada labelled Nelson Mandela´s African National Congress a terrorist organization causing probems for members of the party which wanted to enter Canada.

The ANC now is the government of South Africa.

Documents Cotler received in return to his inquiries demonstrate discussions about those complaints were as recent as May 2013.
“The issue was raised on May 21, 2013 by … Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim (Minister of State equivalent) in an expanded meeting with South African President Zuma during the Governor General’s recent visit to South Africa,” Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander said in a written response to Cotler’s question.
The directive allows entry to Canada of members of terrorist organizations that have undergone such “fundamental changes” that it can be said “to no longer be the same organization”
Alexander said that: “we have issued an operational bulletin to our visa officers and CBSA (Canada Border Service Agency) agents indicating that the African National Congress (ANC) is an organization that has undergone substantial change and, therefore, membership in it should no longer be considered grounds for inadmissibility”
Johnston met with South African President Zuma during his visit to South Africa in May. His media release mentioned his visit to the “Iziko Slave Lodge Museum in Cape Town and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.”
Canada labelled Mandela’s African National Congress a terrorist organization for more than two decades. Members of the party which wanted to visit Canada needed to apply for special exemptions.While Cotler has been informed that the policy is no longer in effect. Documents to demonstrate that change have not been provided, nor published on government Websites, according to the exchange between Cotler and the government.
Mandela, who died last Thursday, remained on the United States terrorist watch list until late 2008.Then secretary of state Condoleeza Rice appealed to the U.S. Congress to remove the international heroe from the list. She described the situation as an embarrassment.
For more information, please read Irwin Cotler’s blog:

About Connecting Colombias

Recently retired newspaper reporter with one foot in British Columbia, Canada, the other in Colombia, South America. Fascinated with Colombian culture, Canadian connections, and heroic efforts to return millions of displaced Colombians to lands stolen by paramilitaries, guerrillas and organized crime.

9 responses to “Canada´s ´terrorist´label of Mandela´s ANC still irritates South Africa government”

  1. colombiadiaries says :

    There are many nations now embarrassed about who they defined and labelled ‘terrorist’, and many leaders who now praise Mandela though their track record suggests skeletons in their moral and intellectual closets. No doubt there will be many more in the future who will write pretty eulogies about those they currently call ‘terrorists’.

    • Connecting Colombias says :

      For me it´s rather embarrassing as a Canadian. Our government has nothing but praise for Mandela. But the people who stood with him and also made so many sacrifices still wear this label when they come to Canada. Many Canadians are unaware that we ever had a policy such as this, and many more that it still exists. Thank you again for your comments. I always enjoy your writing about your adventures. I believe you inspire many people.

      • johan says :

        what do you know my man come to South-Africa and see Mandelas legacy ..hungry children no medication whist millions was spent on him before he died that reality my man

      • Connecting Colombias says :

        I know about what I write about, the reaction and the hypocrisy of the Canadian government. The African National Congress legacy and failures are other, extremely important subjects. I appreciate your comments on them, but don´t believe those failings make Mandela nor other party members a terrorists, nor justify the behaviour of the Canadian government. Thank you for the invitation to visit your country. I hope one day I am in a position to do exactly that.

  2. Phil says :

    “One swallow does not make a summer.” And one terrorist fooling the world that he was never one while no one checks his blood stained hands is foolishness indeed. One just has to take that veil of deception away and see exactly what is going on in South Africa today, then we can see the ‘real Mr Mandela.’

    • Connecting Colombias says :

      Mr. Mandela should not be held accountable for what happens after his death. He never hid his beliefs that violence was justified when necessary to protect the rights and the freedoms of the oppressed. And, fighting for freedom against a terrorist state does not make one a terrorist.

      • Phil says :

        The reality in South Africa is called a pendulum swing, from Apartheid at 12:15pm to Reverse Apartheid at 12:45pm, this is the reality. Everyone was hoping this pendulum would come to rest at 12:30pm, but sadly it did not, and now chaos is the order of the day. The hypocrites in the world only want to hear what they want to hear, and that is, what you say but never the truth. The proof really is in the eating.

  3. johan says :

    ANC still like a terrorist organization to some South-Africans they run this country with a agenda to suppress all whites a system called BEE they also steal government money which is taxes mostly paid by whites and get supported by governments who do some bad deals with them.

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