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It's official: Mandela is not a terrorist -

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It's official: Mandela is not a terrorist

The World Today - Wednesday, 2 July , 2008 12:50:00

Reporter: Paula Kruger

ELEANOR HALL: Last weekend he was the guest of honour at a huge concert in London to mark his 90th
birthday.

But it was only last night that the US Government officially removed Nelson Mandela from its
terrorism watch list.

The internationally revered former South African President was officially regarded as a threat to
US national security because of his long association with the African National Congress.

As Paula Kruger reports even the North Korean Government managed to get itself dropped from the
list before Mr Mandela.

(Music plays - "free, free, free Nelson Mandela")

PAULA KRUGER: More than 64,000 people may have packed London's Hyde Park and millions watched the
concert on television around the world.

But last weekend when former South African President Nelson Mandela was soaking in the musical
tributes, he was still on the US Government's terrorism watch list.

In April this year US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had expressed her embarrassment at having
to wave in people like the Foreign Minister of South Africa and former leaders like Nelson Mandela.

That was an embarrassment shared by Amira Woods from the Institute of Policy Studies when she spoke
to National Public Radio in the US.

AMIRA WOODS: It is absolutely a travesty that Mandela, that really all of the leaders of South
Africa have to get a special pass to be able to travel to the US because of these travel
restrictions.

So the Bush administration has quite rightly moved on North Korea to remove North Korea from that
list of terrorists.

But all these decades, you know, since the end of the Apartheid era we still have South Africa on,
especially the African National Congress including Nelson Mandela, on that list of terrorists.

So I think we need to really applaud the Black Congressional Caucus who, they took up this mantel
and they have pushed just as they did in the anti-Apartheid struggle.

They have pushed to say look, we need to really recognise an error here in US policy and move
swiftly to change it.

So it is their leadership that has brought congressional action, it is also the leadership of the
South Africans who have said enough is enough.

PAULA KRUGER: Doctor Michael McKinley is a senior lecturer in international relations and strategy
at the ANU. He says the process of being included or dropped from Washington's terror watch list is
complicated.

MICHAEL MCKINLEY: The definition of what goes on it is quite elastic.

PAULA KRUGER: Nelson Mandela has just been removed from that list. It might surprise people that he
was still on it. What would be the reason for that?

MICHAEL MCKINLEY: It goes back to his days as an active member of the African National Congress,
the ANC.

Because the United States was interested in conducting various arrangements with that Apartheid
government it was thought necessary to put the ANC on there.

And also the ANC were thought to be and were left of centre.

PAULA KRUGER: Now, North Korea was also on that list until just recently. Why is it that they'd
qualify for being taken off the list before someone like Nelson Mandela who is a Nobel Peace Prize
winner?

MICHAEL MCKINLEY: This is one of the more curious developments because what prompted Washington to
remove North Korea from the list was North Korea began behaving in a way which suggested they were
going to meet, if not halfway at least part of the way, US demands with regard to their nuclear
program.

Now, the nuclear program and their association with international terrorism are not necessarily
connected. They can be, but they're not necessarily connected.

So the United States seems to have responded in one area because of a favourable development in
another. Which is not entirely logical in the circumstances.

ELEANOR HALL: Doctor Michael McKinley from the ANU speaking to Paula Kruger.