Shortly after the late-Nelson Mandela (pictured) was released from prison in February 1990, he assumed the mantle of responsibility for the actions of the African National Congress (ANC). In a shocking revelation, Mandela admitted that ANC members tortured guerillas connected to the political group that defied its core values on this day in 1990.
Mandela, in the midst of travel and dealing with transitioning back in to public life, addressed the claims of ANC guerillas that were tortured for their differing views from the party. Mandela was unflinching in his admittance and said those responsible were swiftly punished.
“Unfortunately it is true that some of these people who have complained were in fact tortured,” said Mandela. “But once the ANC became aware, immediate steps were taken to discipline those who were guilty of torturing other people.”
Mandela did not elaborate on what tactics the ANC used to torture the individuals nor did he express what laws the party members broke that led to the actions.
The ANC is against torture or any form of coercion in order to extract information from those who are suspected of breaking the laws or regulations, which they are required to obey, Mandela added.
Just a day prior to Mandela’s statement, seven former ANC guerillas that fled to Kenya said that their commanders tortured them on accusations of mutiny. The guerillas said that they were tortured at a pair of Angolan punishment camps. The guerillas claimed ANC commanders tied them to trees and whipped them, left them in metal containers in the sun, and physically assaulted them daily.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued a report in 1996, regarding the ANC and its human rights violations.