Friday April 18, 2014





John Diefenbaker’s huge role in Mandela’s release forgotten

In your Wednesday editorial — Would Mandela Applaud Us Now? — you miss a significant point that Mandela would have felt very bad about.

You praise Brian Mulroney for his support of Mandela and his cause.

Mandela surely would have been very surprised as to why you did not also mention the one leader in the world that did the most to assist his cause, former prime minister John Diefenbaker.

Diefenbaker fought the British government, the United States government and most of the Western world, which saw Mandela as a terrorist  criminal  in the 1960s.

Diefenbaker alone among western leaders convinced the British Commonwealth to expel South Africa from the Commonwealth and impose sanctions against South Africa’s Afrikaner Regime.

This action alone was the initiative that lead to Mandela’s eventual release and to the leadership of his nation.

Mandela knew this and it was the reason he made Canada the very first foreign nation he visited upon his release from prison. He would have been disappointed you did not mention Diefenbaker’s courage and good work on his and his nation’s behalf.

JOHN HART

Kamloops





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