Though Blair, Giddens, Chavez et al have all come in for abuse for their perceived closeness to Colonel Gaddafi, Mehdi Hasan observed recently, we should not forget even the most saintly of Nobel laureates have been charmed by the enigmatic dictator.

Embracing Gaddafi as he stepped off the plane with his harem of female bodyguards (video below), the venerated Nelson Mandela would go on to toast his “brother leader” in a speech where he denied South Africa would ever “turn its back” on Libya:

I shall therefore take the liberty to invite our guests to rise and raise their glasses with me in salute to Muamar Qaddafi, our Brother Leader of the Revolution of the Libyan Jamahariya

Cheers!

The Colonel may soon be house hunting in Johannesburg (as opposed to Caracas and Riyadh).

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  2. During the long bleak years that Mandela was in jail, the apartheid assassins were rampant, and British were silently collaborating with the apartheid regime if not calling Mandela a “terrorist” Gadaffi was one of Mandela and the ANC’s friends. The current British prime minister even took a freebie trip in the 1980s to South Africa organised by the regime and participated in their public propaganda exercises in return. (Pull out the archive tapes and marvel at how easily he was “duped”).

    Rather than comparing Blair to Mandela it might be worth noting how Gadaffi was on the right side of history and we (despite all revisionist attempts to rewrite history) were not. Furthermore a study in British history will quickly establish that this was not an isolated occurance: far from being a beacon of democracy in the world, Britain has a nasty record of supporting tyrants and subverting democracy around the world, and not as long ago as you might think.

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  4. Gaddafi supported the PAC (not the ANC) through much of the exile period. Mandela praised him – like he did other dictators (and Taiwan) – for funding the ANC after it had been unbanned. The Mail& Guardian reported in 2009 that “…when former president Nelson Mandela visited Gadaffi in 1994 he returned with $40-million in briefcases to fund the ANC’s election effort.”
    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-03-21-ancs-dodgy-funders. Gaddafi made a further donation ahead of the 1999 election – hence Mandela’s speech in June that year.

  5. First, some history. In 1969 when Col. Gaddafi came to power by overthrowi­ng the Libyan king in a military coup, Libyan’s were one of the poorest people in the world with an annual per capita income of less than $60.

    Today, thanks to the “Arab Socialism” policy of the government as well as bountiful petroleum exports, the Libyan people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the Arab world. Most Libyan families own their own home and most Libyan families own an automobile­.

    The free public health system in Libya is one of the best in the Arab world and Libya’s free education system up to the graduate level is as good if not better than any other in the region.

    So the question is, why has a revolt broken out?

    http://www­.countercu­rrents.org­/mountain2­20311.htm

    British military and civilian advisers, including special forces troops, along with those from France, Italy and Qatar, have spent months with rebel fighters, giving them key, up-to-date intelligen­­ce, and watching out for any al-Qaida elements trying to infiltrate or influence the rebellion.­­

    http://www­.guardian.­co.uk/worl­d/2011/aug­/24/nato-w­ill-not-pu­t-troops-g­round-liby­a

  6. Gadafi was tricked into abandoning his nuclear plans so as to enable a revolution be organized be the same people who were extending an olive branch…..truth be said i have never seen protesters turn kamikaze military personnel in such a short time……. though i will not make him a saint i believe his intentions for lybia were good…… WESTERN DEMOCRACY IS NOT AN ARAB/AFRICAN THING coz we have a nobel culture where worriors and important icons in our societies…… GADAFI WAS ONE AND THUS WAS REQUIRED BY NORM TO RULE TILL HIS DEATH……JUST AS THE SAUDI MONARCHY

  7. Brewer: ALL of the oil countries provide social services. Libya didn’t provide as much as some of the gulf countries

  8. Where was Mandela when Libyan children were bombed every single night for 8 months ??
    Fuck Mandela. You bastard coward

  9. Goyoh, all Arab states provide free electricity to their citizens and treat all their immigrant workers like slaves. Don’t you dare comparing Gaddafi’s social services with those of other criminal arab dictatorships. Gaddafi did much more for his people than any other gulf state. Much much more.

  10. Goyoh, don’t you dare compare Gaddafi to all other gulf arab dictators. Gaddafi gave more to his people than all other criminals in the gulf. They provide free electricity and phone calls and at the same time they treat immigrants like slaves. Women are commidities and human rights never existed.

  11. Whatever is Happending in Middle east, its because of Imprelistic Policies of Arabs for thousands of years.
    The Card of Religion was to Rule the world, without them questiing the rights, because it was given by Mysterious GOD!!!

  12. FYI, Mandela’s grandson is named Gaddafi and he was indeed a close friend of Gaddafi. Please show some respect to one of Africa’s and history’s greatest men.

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