Does this sound a bit suss? A birdwatcher who climbs a telegraph pole every day?
>From yesterday's Age:
British intelligence operatives "posed as birdwatchers" to spy on Nelson
Mandela's ANC hideout before he was arrested, it has been claimed.
Denis Goldberg, a white communist and ANC bomb maker who was detained in the
raid on Liliesleaf Farm by South African police on July 11, 1963, said he
believed a number of intelligence agencies including the British and Americans
were monitoring the farm.
"We believe that there was a British intelligence agent in the nearby caravan
park," he told an audience at a 50th anniversary event to commemorate the raid.
"Everyone thought he was a birdwatcher because he would climb up a telegraph
pole with binoculars every day. But I think we were the birds he was watching."
Mr Mandela and fellow ANC leaders used Liliesleaf, the home of a white
sympathiser, to plot their armed rebellion against the apartheid government in
the early Sixties. He was arrested in August 1962, charged with sabotage and
went on to serve 27 years in prison.
The CIA has long been suspected of providing information that led to Mr
Mandela's detention, but the possible involvement of the British security
services has rarely been mentioned.
Mr Goldberg's claims are backed by Nicholas Wolpe, the son of another
Liliesleaf detainee, Harold Wolpe, who now runs Liliesleaf as a visitor centre
and has researched the events leading up to the raid extensively.
But he added that none of those arrested at Liliesleaf thought the British gave
them away. "If the British were monitoring what was happening, which I think
they were, they were being very discreet about it," he said.
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