By DAVID JOHNSTON, Special to The New York Times
Published: June 10, 1990
The Central Intelligence Agency played an important role in the arrest in 1962 of Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader who was jailed for nearly 28 years before his release four months ago, a news report says.
The intelligence service, using an agent inside the African National Congress, provided South African security officials with precise information about Mr. Mandela’s activities that enabled the police to arrest him, said the account by the Cox News Service.
The report, scheduled for publication on Sunday, quoted an unidentified retired official who said that a senior C.I.A. officer told him shortly after Mr. Mandela’s arrest: ”We have turned Mandela over to the South African Security branch. We gave them every detail, what he would be wearing, the time of day, just where he would be.”
The news-service report said that at the time of Mr. Mandela’s arrest in August 1962, the C.I.A. devoted more resources to penetrating the activities of nationalist groups like the African National Congress than did South Africa’s then-fledgling security service.
The account said the American intelligence agency was willing to assist in the apprehension of Mr. Mandela because it was concerned that a successful nationalist movement threatened a friendly South African Govenment. Expansion of such movements outside South Africa’s borders, the agency feared, would jeopardize the stability of other African states, the account said.