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Mandela: The Authorised Biography

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Title: Mandela: The Authorised Biography  
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Mandela: The Authorised Biography

Mandela: The Authorised Biography
Author Anthony Sampson
Cover artist Annie Leibovitz
Country South Africa
Language English
Genre Biography
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 678
OCLC 44484875

Mandela: The Authorised Biography is a study of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa, by the late journalist Anthony Sampson.

Sampson's book was published in 1999, five years after Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. The book was one of the first to examine such issues as Winnie Mandela's crimes, and State President Frederik Willem de Klerk's suspected attempts to use the security forces to derail peace talks.


  • De Klerk and the Third Force 1
  • James Gregory and Goodbye Bafana 2
  • References 3
  • See also 4

De Klerk and the Third Force

Sampson said that de Klerk had exacerbated the violence in several ways. De Klerk was reportedly ignoring the violence of the Zulu-nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) when directed against ANC (and vice versa), in the hope of splitting anti-apartheid forces. De Klerk also permitted Inkatha supporters to carry "traditional weapons" in their rallies, with which they caused much injury. Sampson cited an occasion when the ANC tipped off the government that IFP was planning a violent protest: the police did nothing, and thirty people were killed.[1]

Mandela had himself made these criticisms in Third Force.[2] In 1991 de Klerk demoted those ministers, Adriaan Vlok and Magnus Malan respectively, and began an inquiry that Sampson described as a whitewash conducted by interested parties. De Klerk denied this, and said that he had been unable to restrain the third force, even though he wanted to.[3] In a interview in 2004, de Klerk said that his security forces had undermined him by conducting "undercover activities [...] in conflict with the policies which we were trying to advance". He said that the ANC also contained extremist elements that had tried to wreck the peace process.[4]

James Gregory and Goodbye Bafana

Sampson also alleged that Warrant Officer Pieter Botha, and the prosecutor, Percy Yutar, who had argued for his execution in the Rivonia Trial.


  1. ^ Mandela: The Authorised Biography, p.438.
  2. ^ Mandela: The Authorised Biography, p.443.
  3. ^ Mandela: The Authorised Biography, p.442.
  4. ^ HBO History Makers Series: Frederik Willem de Klerk – Council on Foreign Relations
  5. ^ Mandela: The Authorised Biography, p.217.

See also

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