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Mandela’s Speech Paying Tribute to Morocco Goes Viral After Algeria’s CHAN Scandal


Nelson Mandela paid tribute to the Moroccan monarchy for arming and training the South African army in 1962.

Rabat – Nelson Mandela’s speech paying tribute to Morocco is going viral on social media platforms following Algeria’s most recent attack on the country’s territorial integrity. 

On Saturday, Algeria invited Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile Mandela to speak at the opening ceremony of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) where he delivered a highly politicized speech bashing Morocco’s territorial integrity.

The act outraged football fans across the Arab world as they saw the incident as a clear act to politicize football for political gains. Many social media users observed that Zwelivelile’s words were a far cry from the spirit of peace and continental solidarity his grandfather worked hard to promote.

One day after the fiasco, a video of Nelson Mandela’s 1995 speech resurfaced and become widely popular on social media. In the speech, Nelson Mandela highlights the generosity of Morocco which helped arm, and fund anti-colonial forces in South Africa between 1960 and 1962.

In his speech celebrating the first anniversary of becoming president, Nelson Mandela presented one Moroccan politician, and former member of the resistance against French and Spanish colonialism, Abdelkrim Al-Khatib, as one of the “architects of South Africa’s army.”

While paying tribute to Abdelkrim Al-Khatib and the support he received from the Moroccan monarchy for South Africa’s armed struggle against British colonialism, Mandela said: “I visited his country in April of 1962 and I said to him I want to speak to his majesty your king, he said what for, I said that we have established an army, we want our soldiers trained, we want weapons, we want money.”

Continuing his story amid cheers from the crowd, Mandela narrated: “He said he understood my mission very well precisely because he himself has gone through the experience we were undertaking. He said get your men to Dar Salam (Royal Palace in the capital Rabat), I will send a plane to bring them to my country, and I will train them.”

“He said what arms do you want and where should I deliver them, I gave him details, and I said to deliver them to Dar Salam,” Mandela said recounting his first interview with Al-Khatib. 

“He said how much do you want, I said I want 5000 British pounds. Those days 1000 pounds was like a million today, he said you come back here tomorrow, I returned; he said to be there at 9, I was there at 8, and he said here is the 5000 that you want, I want no record, I want you to go deposit this money in your bank in London.”

Closing his speech on a joking note, Mandela said that Al-Khatib asked him whether he would still like to see the king, to which he answered no.

During Africa’s struggle to liberate itself from imperialism, Morocco has always been a notorious ally that helped train and fund armed resistance across the continent. 

Nelson Mandela is an iconic figure in South Africa and the world, as during his lifetime, South Africa was liberated from British colonialism and the crippling apartheid. Many are reflecting on Mandela’s legacy and regret his grandson’s dragging of his name into futile, one-sided political feuds against Morocco.

Source: Morocco World